Police officer killed in accident identified


A Maryland-National Capital Park Police officer killed Saturday night when her patrol car struck a tree was identified yesterday as Kristin M. Pataki, 24 - and was the first to die in the line of duty since the department was founded in 1954, authorities said.

Pataki was responding to another officer's request for assistance in Clarksburg, Montgomery County, when the accident occurred, police said.

She was northbound on Clarksburg Road about 10 p.m., and heading toward the county-owned 30,000-acre Little Bennett Golf Course, where another officer had stopped a car with four occupants, when her patrol car apparently went out of control on the rain-slick roadway near Burnt Hill Road and struck a tree, said Sgt. Bill Collins, a Park Police spokesman.

Pataki, who graduated from the Montgomery County police academy in September and lived in Gaithersburg, suffered multiple injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

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