Trooper dies after cruiser hits car at accident scene on parkway

March 26, 1998|By Dail Willis | Dail Willis,SUN STAFF

A state trooper died yesterday after a traffic accident on Baltimore-Washington Parkway in Prince George's County, state police said.

The accident occurred as Trooper Raymond G. Armstead Jr., 27, who was assigned to the Forestville Barracks, drove north on the parkway about 12: 30 p.m. Several people clustered at a minor traffic accident near Powder Mill Road flagged him down, and Armstead began to pull over.

Armstead looked toward the people on the shoulder, said Col. David B. Mitchell, superintendent of the agency, and didn't see that traffic was stopped ahead.

"His attention was distracted and he hit the back of a parked vehicle," Mitchell said at a somber news conference at Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, where Armstead was flown by a state police helicopter.

The impact of the collision ruptured Armstead's heart, said Dr. Tom Scalea, one of the physicians who tried unsuccessfully to revive Armstead at the center, and the trooper suffered cardiac arrest as he was flown for treatment.

The accident deployed the cruiser's air bags, Mitchell said, and Armstead was wearing his seat belt. He was trapped for nearly 30 minutes, police said.

Armstead, who had been with the Maryland State Police since graduating from the academy in June, was a Boston native and the son of a Boston police officer, Mitchell said. He was the father of two sons and lived in Columbia.

One other person suffered minor injuries in the accident, Mitchell said.

Pub Date: 3/26/98

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