Trooper in critical condition after truck hits him on Beltway

Man charged with leaving scene, drunken driving

March 26, 2000|By Kris Antonelli | Kris Antonelli,SUN STAFF

A state trooper was in critical condition yesterday at Maryland Shock Trauma Center after being hit by a truck that did not stop after an accident on the Baltimore Beltway in Woodlawn late Friday.

Sgt. Kevin R. Utz, 42, a 22-year department veteran, underwent surgery early yesterday, authorities said. His injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

Based on a witness' description of the truck that hit Utz, state police charged Jeffrey C. Kerler, 40, of the 7300 block of Dogwood Road in Woodlawn with driving while intoxicated, failure to stop at an accident and failing to report an accident to police.

Police said Utz, a member of the aviation division, was on his way to work when he stopped a car for speeding on the outer loop of the Beltway just south of Windsor Mill Road. As the driver handed Utz his license, the officer was hit by a Ford truck.

Utz was thrown into traffic. The driver Utz had stopped for speeding pulled him to the shoulder of the road, state police said.

Another driver who saw the accident followed the truck and called state police from a mobile phone. He gave police a description of the truck, which was found parked at Kerler's home.

As troopers questioned Kerler, they noticed cuts and bruises on his face.

Kerler was treated for his injuries at Northwest Hospital Center before being taken to the Golden Ring barracks to be charged, state police said.

The driver of the car Utz had stopped was not ticketed, state police said.

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