MSP trooper involved in crash near Elkton
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.