Suspected DUI Driver Hits MD State Trooper On I-495 – Second Trooper Hit This Month On Beltway And 15th This Year
(MORNINGSIDE, MD) – A Maryland state trooper monitoring traffic on I-495 on Nov. 20, 2016, was struck and injured by a suspected impaired driver, making him the second trooper struck this month and the 15th this year hit while patrolling the Capital Beltway.
The trooper is identified as Trooper Dennis Moguche, who is assigned to road patrol duties at the Forestville Barrack. Trooper Moguche was transported to the Fort Washington Hospital where he was treated for injuries and later released.
The driver is identified as Christopher Howard, 43, of Indian Head, Md. He was charged with driving while impaired, driving under the influence, reckless driving, negligent driving, and failure to control speed to avoid a collision. He was released after appearing before a court commissioner and posting a $3,500 bond. He reported no injuries after the crash.
Just after 7:00 p.m. yesterday, Trooper Moguche was in his marked patrol car, sitting in the center median crossover on I-495, north of Rt. 5. A Buick LaSabre, driven by Howard, left the roadway and struck the trooper’s car. A State Police supervisor responding to assist placed Howard under arrest after an investigation indicated he was driving under the influence.
According to Captain Dan Pickett, Maryland State Police Washington Metro Troop Commander, Trooper Moguche is the second state trooper struck this month while patrolling the Capital and the 15th hit so far this year. State Police continue to urge drivers to be alert for police, fire/rescue personnel, tow service operators, construction workers, and disabled motorists who are often along the shoulders of Maryland roads.
While not applicable in last night’s crash, Maryland’s move over law requires drivers approaching a police vehicle, fire/rescue unit, or tow truck on the side of the road with its lights activated, to move to an adjacent lane away from the first responder if possible. If an adjacent lane is not available, drivers must slow to a safe speed as they pass the scene.
Howard entered a guilty plea in Charles County District Court for speeding on Middletown Road when stopped by Charles County Officer K Syvertsen on Feb. 1, 2016. He was assessed a fine of $54.50 and given Probation Before Judgement.
On Nov. 1, 2015, Howard was ticketed by Charles County Officer Stuart Myers for spinning wheels at the Glymont Dash In. In a plea deal, he ordered to pay a fine of $70 in return for his guilty plea.