MSP trooper in­volved in crash near Elkton

Cecil Whig - - LOCAL - By CARL HAMIL­TON ca­hamil­ton@ce­cil­whig.com

ELKTON — An on-duty Maryland State Po­lice trooper was in­volved in a two-ve­hi­cle crash Mon­day on a road near Elkton, send­ing him to a lo­cal hos­pi­tal by am­bu­lance for a med­i­cal eval­u­a­tion, ac­cord­ing to an agency spokesman.

Ron Sny­der, a pub­lic in­for­ma­tion of­fi­cer based at MSP’s head­quar­ters in Pikesville, iden­ti­fied Trooper Chase Hink­ley as the trooper in­volved the crash, which oc­curred shortly be­fore 4:45 p.m. on Au­gus­tine Her­man High­way (Route 213), south of the West Pu­laski High­way (U.S. Route 40) in­ter­sec­tion.

Hink­ley, who is as­signed to the North East Bar­rack, was the only per­son in­jured in the col­li­sion, po­lice said. An am­bu­lance trans­ported Hink­ley to Union Hos­pi­tal in Elkton, where he was eval­u­ated and then re­leased about 7:30 p.m., po­lice added.

“It was pre­cau­tion­ary,” Sny­der told the Ce­cil Whig on Tues­day morn­ing, adding, “He is home re­cov­er­ing.”

Sny­der said Hink­ley will be per­mit­ted to re­turn to duty.

Hink­ley was driv­ing a marked agency Ford Ex­plorer in the north­bound lane of Route 213, when he wit­nessed a south­bound ve­hi­cle com­mit a traf­fic of­fense, ac­cord­ing to Sny­der, who, as of late Tues­day morn­ing, did not have in­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing the ob­served traf­fic vi­o­la­tion.

At that point, po­lice added, Hink­ley ac­ti­vated his cruiser’s emer­gency lights and then at­tempted to make a U-turn from the north­bound lane onto the south­bound lane, so he could stop the of­fend­ing south­bound ve­hi­cle.

As Hink­ley was mak­ing the U-turn, how­ever, a north­bound 2011 Subaru that had been trav­el­ing be­hind the trooper struck the rear driver’s side door of the po­lice ve­hi­cle, po­lice re­ported. As of Tues­day morn­ing, in­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing the Subaru driver was un­avail­able, aside from a re­port that that per­son was not in­jured.

The crash re­port­edly caused a ma­jor traf­fic backup.

“The cir­cum­stances of the ac­ci­dent are un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion,” Sny­der said, adding that MSP is han­dling that depart­men­tal crash in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

This marks the third re­ported Ce­cil County traf­fic ac­ci­dent in­volv­ing an MSP trooper since mid-Au­gust, with the first two crashes in that se­ries oc­cur­ring while the troop­ers were driv­ing agency ve­hi­cles while off duty.

The first crash in that string re­sulted in MSP in­ves­ti­ga­tors fil­ing drunken-driv­ing charges against the trooper in ques­tion, Tfc. Tan­ner Leroy Nick­er­son, a six-year MSP vet­eran as­signed to Com­mer­cial Ve­hi­cle En­force­ment Divi­sion.

In that first in­ci­dent, an off-duty Nick­er­son was driv­ing his agency Chevro­let Ta­hoe in the north­bound lane of North Bo­hemia Av­enue (Route 213) in Ce­cil­ton shortly af­ter 9 p.m. on Aug. 14, when he “failed to re­duce speed” and his ve­hi­cle crashed into the back of a Mercedes in the 200 block of that road, MSP of­fi­cials re­ported at the time.

An am­bu­lance trans­ported the Mercedes driver — a 49-year-old Cherry Hill, N.J., woman — and her 10-yearold pas­sen­ger to Union Hos­pi­tal in Elkton, where they were treated for what in­ves­ti­ga­tors de­scribed as mi­nor in­juries, po­lice said.

Nick­er­son is charged with driv­ing un­der the in­flu­ence of al­co­hol, driv­ing while im­paired by al­co­hol, fail­ure to con­trol speed to avoid a col­li­sion, reck­less driv­ing and neg­li­gent driv­ing, po­lice said. In ac­cor­dance with MSP pro­to­col, po­lice added, Nick­er­son was sus­pended with pay and re­mains so.

More re­cently, Trooper Philippi, a two-year vet­eran who is as­signed to the Cen­tre­ville Bar­rack in Queen Ann’s County, suf­fered mi­nor in­juries when his pa­trol car col­lided with a ve­hi­cle at an Elkton in­ter­sec­tion on Oct. 9 while he was off-duty, po­lice re­ported.

An am­bu­lance trans­ported Philippi to nearby Union Hos­pi­tal in Elkton from the crash scene, which was at the in­ter­sec­tion of Elkton Road (Route 279) and North Bridge Street (Route 213), MSP of­fi­cials re­ported.

The driver of the other ve­hi­cle, Jonah Tay­lor, 23, of Fort Ed­wards, N.Y., was not in­jured.

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