A suspected impaired driver struck two Maryland State Police troopers protecting a crash scene in a patrol car Monday night in Charles County, bringing the number of troopers hit while on traffic stops this year to 37, according to state police.
Troopers Thomas Davis and Matthew Milch were parked behind the crash scene on northbound Route 301 shortly before 7 p.m. when 75-year-old Ruth A. Runyan crashed into an unoccupied patrol car, spinning it into the patrol car in which the troopers were sitting. Neither trooper was injured.
Prior to the accident, both patrol cars had emergency lights on, and traffic was being directed to the left of the crash scene.
Runyan was arrested and charged with driving under the influence, driving while impaired, negligent driving, failure to change lanes for an emergency vehicle and failure to obey designated lane directions. Runyan refused medical treatment at the scene.
Charles County Sheriff's deputies also arrested the driver of a tow truck called to the scene to transport Runyan’s after they detected signs the driver was impaired.
This year alone 37 state troopers have been struck while on the side of Maryland roads at traffic stops, crash scenes or construction zones, with another 20 unoccupied patrol cars hit.
Maryland’s move over law, which requires drivers to move lanes or slow down when approaching an emergency vehicle from the rear, is designed to prevent these types of incidents. Violating the law can result in fines and points.