It does not matter whether Maryland police officers are on duty or off duty. While they are behind the wheel, they must adhere to traffic regulations unless under certain circumstances. They owe the same duty, if not a higher one, to other motorists and pedestrians as anyone else does. Avoiding a motor vehicle or pedestrian accident should remain a priority for every driver, including those in law enforcement.
Recently, a police officer here in Maryland failed to avoid a collision, and it cost a 16-year-old his or her life. From what initial reports indicate, the teen was crossing the street shortly prior to 1 p.m. on a Monday afternoon. At the same time, a police vehicle attached to the Metro Transit Police K-9 Unit entered the intersection and struck the pedestrian.
The officer and his canine partner were on the way to work at the time of the incident. In accordance with procedure, the department placed the officer on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation into this tragedy. The Maryland State Police’s CRASH team closed the scene for a few hours in order to conduct its investigation.
While officials work to determine the particulars of this pedestrian accident, a family must bury a loved one far too soon. Surviving family members may ultimately decide to exercise their right to file a wrongful death claim. Successfully litigating such a claim by proving to a civil court through the appropriate evidence that the death of the teen was caused by another’s negligence could result in an award of damages to help with the financial losses associated with their loss, along with some sense of justice.