A Maryland state trooper and a Belair man he stopped for an equipment violation on the shoulder of a highway exit ramp near Ellicott City were thrown several yards after another vehicle left the road and struck the officer's car yesterday morning.
Cpl. Marvin Dorsey, a 20-year veteran, and Mark Hartman were not seriously injured in the accident, said Cpl. John Scott, a state police investigator.
The driver of the third vehicle was Carol Woytowitz, 34, of Ellicott City. Neither she nor a child passenger in a safety seat was injured, Corporal Scott said.
According to police, shortly before 11 a.m. Corporal Dorsey, a trooper for the state's Automotive Safety Enforcement Division, stopped Mr. Hartman's Eagle Falcon on the westbound Interstate 70 exit ramp to northbound U.S. 29. The driver's car had a cracked windshield, police said.
Mr. Hartman shifted to his passenger seat, while he and the trooper discussed the problem away from the traffic flow. The officer issued the driver a warning citation and was about to depart when he suddenly started yelling, Mr. Hartman said.
In seconds, Ms. Woytowitz's 1993 Jeep Cherokee struck the left bumper of the trooper's unmarked 1989 Chevrolet Caprice, knocking it into Mr. Hartman's car, Corporal Scott said.
The impact jolted Mr. Hartman from the open side door of his car and the trooper went tumbling across a nearby guardrail, police said.
Corporal Dorsey got up and phoned for help from his car, which had its left rear bumper pushed into its back seat.
"If he hadn't walked over to my car when he did," Mr. Hartman said, "he could have been killed."