Maryland

Man Charged in Crash That Killed FBI Agent, Fire Marshal

Fire marshal Sander Cohen "dedicated his life to public service and never hesitated to offer a helping hand, right up to his last breath," Maryland's governor said

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Courtesy of family; Rockville Volunteer Fire Department

A Maryland man has been charged in a crash that killed an FBI agent and a deputy state fire marshal. 

Roberto Garza Palacios, of Germantown, was charged with negligent driving in the Dec. 8 crash, Maryland State Police said Tuesday. The charge carries a $280 fine and three points on a driver's record, but no jail time. 

FBI Supervisory Special Agent Carlos Wolff, 36, of Gaithersburg, Maryland, and Deputy Chief State Fire Marshal Sander Cohen, 33, died after they were hit by a car while stopped on Interstate 270. 

Cohen stopped to help Wolff after Wolff's car hit the concrete barrier on the left side of the highway and became disabled in the fast lane.

Cohen called for assistance, blocked the lane with his personal vehicle and activated his emergency flashers.

As Wolff, the driver of the damaged vehicle, stood with Cohen on the shoulder of the lane, a Honda driven by Garza Palacios swerved and hit both men. They both were thrown over the jersey wall into northbound traffic. One of the men was then hit by an Acura headed northbound. 

Cohen was pronounced dead the scene. Wolff was taken to Suburban Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Three other people were taken to hospitals with injuries that were not life-threatening.

Police said alcohol, drugs and speed were not factors. Garza Palacios did not return calls seeking comment.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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