TROOPER STRUCK DURING VEHICLE SEARCH FURTHER DEMONSTRATING IMPORTANCE OF THE MOVE OVER LAW
(GREENBELT, MD) –A Maryland State Trooper is recovering from injuries sustained after he was struck early this morning while searching a vehicle, on the shoulder of the road, in Prince George’s County, Maryland.
The trooper is identified as Corporal Brian Hirsch, 30, an eleven-year veteran currently assigned to the College Park Barrack.
Corporal Hirsch was transported by Prince George’s County emergency medical personnel to Prince George’s County Hospital due to injuries sustained when struck.
The driver of the 2005 Chevrolet Equinox is identified as Franklin Hernandez, 42, of the 5300 block of Greenway Drive, Hyattsville, Maryland. Hernandez failed to stop after the collision and refused medical treatment. He was charged on traffic citation with violations of the move over law as well as driving under the influence, failing to stop after a collision involving injury, and negligent driving.
The preliminary investigation indicates that just after 2:00 a.m., Cpl. Hirsch along with another trooper were conducting a vehicle search on I-495 in the area of the Greenbelt Metro Station. Both Maryland State Police patrol units were stopped with their emergency equipment activated on the right road shoulder. While conducting a search, a 2005 Chevrolet failed to obey the move over law, and struck Cpl. Hirsch while standing on the right shoulder. The vehicle was stopped a short distance later.
Once the driver of the Chevrolet was identified, Hernandez demonstrated signs indicating he may have been operating the vehicle under the influence of alcohol. Further investigation was conducted and he was arrested for DUI. This incident reinforces the importance on the move over law and the need for motorists to comply. The law is intended to provide an extra barrier of safety for police, fire and emergency rescue personnel, and on October 1, 2014, tow truck drivers.
Motorists are required when approaching an emergency vehicle or a tow truck from the rear with its lights activated, to change into an available lane not next to the emergency vehicle or tow truck, when safe to do so. If there is no lane available, the motorists must slow down to a reasonable and prudent speed as they pass the emergency scene.