Maryland: Drunk driver slammed into rear of State Police car as trooper jumped to safety

(LAUREL, MD) – A Maryland state trooper with less than a week on patrol was jumping for his life early this morning as he and his field training trooper jumped out of the way of a suspected drunk driver who plowed into the back of their car that was stopped behind a disabled vehicle on I-95 in Prince George’s County. 
 The driver is identified as Scott A. Schwartz, 27, of Baltimore, Md.  He is charged with driving under the influence, reckless driving, negligent driving, failure to obey a traffic control device, failure to reduce speed to avoid a collision, and failure to display a registration card.  He was taken to the Prince George’s County Detention Center in Upper Marlboro to await an initial appearance before a court commissioner. 
   Just before 1:00 a.m. today, TFC Elix Gerber, a field training trooper, and his trooper trainee, Trooper Thaddeus Allen, who just graduated from the State Police Academy last Friday, stopped their patrol car behind a disabled vehicle in the slow lane of northbound I-95, south of Van Dusen Road, south of Laurel.  Their patrol car was unmarked, but the troopers activated the emergency lights to warn oncoming motorists. 
                    Both troopers began lighting flares and setting them out behind the stopped vehicles.  As they were placing flares, the troopers saw a Ford Escort headed toward them at a high rate of speed.  TFC Gerber and Trooper Allen both jumped over the concrete barrier out of the way of the oncoming Ford, just as it slammed into the back of their patrol car and pushed it into the disabled vehicle.  Neither trooper was injured. 
                    The force of the crash broke a front tire off the Ford.  The tire careened across the northbound lanes and struck two other vehicles. 
Another trooper responded to the scene and, upon contact with the driver of the Ford, noticed signs indicating he may have been operating under the influence of alcohol.  Further investigation was conducted and Schwartz was arrested for DUI.  He received a minor cut on his lip in the crash, but did not require medical treatment. 
                    There was one person in the disabled vehicle.  Medical treatment was refused.

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