A Maryland State Police trooper assisting at an accident scene was struck and killed on U.S. 50 near Bowie early yesterday by a van whose driver was charged with operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, authorities said.
Tfc. Anthony Jones, 50, was helping another trooper along eastbound U.S. 50 near Freeway Airport about 2 a.m. after an accident, said Maj. Greg Shipley, a state police spokesman. Jones was removing a wheel from a car that had crashed from the roadway when a 1986 Volkswagen van struck him, he said.
Jones was pronounced dead at the scene; he is the 39th state trooper to die in the line of duty, Shipley said.
"Both cars had their emergency lights activated to warn oncoming motorists, and the area was illuminated," said Col. Thomas E. Hutchins, the state police superintendent. "He carried his flashlight and was waving it at traffic as he moved across the highway."
Jones was hit after picking up the tire and walking back to the shoulder of the multilane, high-speed road, Hutchins said. "The driver stopped near the scene [and] was taken into custody after he exhibited signs of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs," he said.
The driver of the van -- identified in District Court records as Darryl Quentin Harris, 42, of the 11400 block of Laurelwalk Drive in Laurel -- was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and driving impaired.
In an appearance before a District Court commissioner in Hyattsville, bail was set at $250,000. Harris was being held last night at the Prince George's County jail, police said.
Jones joined the state police in 1998 after retiring from the Air Force, and was assigned to the College Park barracks on road patrol for his entire six-year career. "He worked very hard, very aggressively, to do his job and do it well," Shipley said.
Jones was honored for valor in 2000 after he and other officers rescued people from a fire at a College Park convenience store. He also was to have received the "Top Cop" award from his barracks this month for outstanding performance in April.
"Tfc. Jones was an outstanding trooper who set an example for others to follow," Hutchins said in a statement. "He was committed to a life of service, to his nation and his state. His life, his legacy and his sacrifice will always be remembered."
The trooper, a resident of Montgomery County, was married and had two daughters, ages 13 and 16, Shipley said.
Sun staff writer Richard Irwin and the Associated Press contributed to this article.