A Maryland state trooper is in serious condition after being struck by a car while backing up another trooper on a traffic stop in Anne Arundel County early this morning.
The trooper is identified as Trooper Jacqueline A. Kline, who is assigned to road patrol duties at the Glen Burnie Barrack. Trooper Kline sustained head injuries, a broken arm, cuts and contusions. She is listed in serious condition at the University of Maryland R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center.
The driver involved is identified as Enrique Guzman Jr., 21, of Pasadena, Md. He was driving a 2007 Nissan Versa. No charges have been filed against him at this time.
At about 1:00 a.m. today, a K-9 trooper from the Glen Burnie Barrack stopped a suspected drunk driver on eastbound Rt. 100, just before the exit for Catherine Avenue. The trooper was administering field sobriety tests to the driver on the shoulder of Rt. 100 when Trooper Kline stopped at the scene to provide backup. Both troopers were operating marked patrol cars and had their overhead lights activated. Both cars were parked on the eastbound shoulder of Rt. 100.
Maryland State Police Crash Team investigators believe preliminary evidence indicates Guzman was eastbound on Rt. 100, intending to exit at Catherine Avenue. As Trooper Kline got out of her car and walked on the highway shoulder toward the patrol car in front of her, the car driven by Guzman struck her.
The preliminary investigation indicates Trooper Kline was struck by the right front of the Nissan and hit the hood of the car. She was then propelled into the back of the State Police K-9 car where she struck the back windshield and metal K-9 cage inside the car. The trooper fell off the police car and landed in a ditch near the highway shoulder.
The K-9 trooper immediately called for assistance and administered emergency care to Trooper Kline. She was flown by a U.S. Park Police helicopter to the Shock Trauma Center.
No one else on the scene was struck by the Nissan or injured in any way. The K-9 dog inside the patrol car was not injured.
Guzman remained at the scene. Troopers administered field sobriety and drug recognition tests to him. They found no evidence that he was driving under the influence. He was apparently returning to his home after work.
State Police Crash Team investigators will be completing a detailed crash investigation. They will forward their findings to the Anne Arundel Co. State’s Attorney’s Office for review regarding charges.
The driver originally stopped by the K-9 trooper was found not to be operating under the influence. He was issued a warning for speeding.
State Highway Administration personnel responded to the scene and assisted with the closure of eastbound Rt. 100 and detours around the area. Eastbound Rt. 100 was closed for about four hours.
Trooper Kline graduated from the Maryland State Police Academy in July 2012. Her badge was pinned on her at graduation by her father, who is a trooper with the New Jersey State Police. Her boyfriend is a Maryland state trooper assigned to the Centreville Barrack. Her supervisors at the Glen Burnie Barrack say Trooper Kline is an outstanding trooper who is already one of the best at the barrack.
Colonel Marcus Brown, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police, responded to the Shock Trauma Center. He is with members of Trooper Kline’s family, the State Police command staff, and her fellow troopers who have gathered there.