Colleagues are mourning the loss of a Prince George's County police officer who was killed on the Capital Beltway in a spin-out crash that threw him from his motorcycle and into traffic.
Davon McKenzie, a 24-year-old officer assigned to the Bureau of Patrol, joined the Prince George's County police just more than two years ago.
He was off-duty and riding his motorcycle on I-495, between Route 202 and Arena Drive in Largo on Tuesday night when he was struck and killed, Maryland State Police say.
Prince George's County Police chief Hank Stawinski said McKenzie's fellow officers had gathered at the hospital to mourn.
"The Prince George's County Police family is broken hearted at the loss of this young officer and only son. He was well respected and loved by his fellow officers. I, on behalf of all of us who were at the hospital and all those who couldn't be, extend our deepest condolences to his family," Stawinski said.
The chain-reaction crash began about 11:20 p.m. when a Nissan Altima tried to enter the southbound lanes of I-495 near Route 202. The driver of the Nissan struck a street sweeper in the slow lane, lost control and veered across the highway, according to police.
McKenzie was riding a Suzuki motorcycle in the fast lane when the Nissan careened into him. The officer was thrown over the jersey wall into the northbound lanes and struck by two other cars, police say.
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EMTs rushed McKenzie to UM Prince George's Hospital Center, where he was pronounced dead.
"He just was a nice young man, and when I heard that this morning it just hurt me to my heart," said McKenzie's neighbor, Jacquelin Fountain. "I just can't believe it."
Police said they will help McKenzie's family with funeral arragements.
"We are mourning the heartbreaking loss of Officer Davon McKenzie, a dedicated member of the Prince George's County Police Department," Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said in a statement. "Our most sincere prayers are with his loved ones and his law enforcement family during this time of great sorrow."
Police said all the drivers involved stayed on the scene. A stretch of I-495 was closed so Maryland State Police could investigate. Police haven't said if any charges would be filed.
Anyone with information is asked to call Maryland State Police at 301-568-8101.