GWYNN OAK, Md. — Just before 4am on Thursday, a burglar alarm sounded and a Baltimore County police officer responding to check it out had that call cut short when a 31-year-old man appeared in front of him on Whitehead Road in Gwynn Oak heading straight for him.
"He was traveling southbound when he encountered a pedestrian on a skateboard traveling northbound in the southbound lane,” said Ofc. Jennifer Peach of the Baltimore County Police Department, “He did attempt to swerve to avoid striking the pedestrian, but ultimately did strike that pedestrian."
Police are withholding the victim's name, but paramedics transported him to the Shock Trauma Center with life-threatening injuries.
The officer emerged from the crash unharmed.
"I don't have any indication that he's suspended or going to be suspended. I think in this case this is clearly accidental so this is more of a 'How does the officer feel about it?'" said Peach.
Police have not determined why the victim was skateboarding at such an hour, although it appears some businesses in the industrial area do have early shifts.
The more pressing question might be why the victim didn't take evasive action or whether he had time to as he headed downhill in the wrong lane when the headlights of a police car appeared in front of him.
They will also consider the officer's actions leading up to the crash.
"The crash investigation team will consider things like 'What was the kind of call he was responding to? Were his lights and siren activated? Was it appropriate for them to be activated based on the type of call he was responding to?'” said Peach, “They'll look into the speed of the vehicle, the position of the pedestrian, the type of roadway... 'Was it a hilled area or a straightaway? What was the sight distance?' All those factors will be considered when determining whether or not the officer is actually at fault."