LANHAM, Md. (AP) -- Maryland State Police say a trooper was injured when a car struck his cruiser while he was investigating an earlier crash on the Capital Beltway.
The agency said in a news release that Trooper Ezra Ganeshananda was investigating a crash on the outer loop of the beltway, north of Route 450, in Lanham about 2 p.m. Thursday. Investigators say the 26-year-old Ganeshananda was sitting in his cruiser when a vehicle crashed into it.
Officials say the trooper was trapped in his cruiser. He was extricated and flown to Shock Trauma in Baltimore; state police say he is in critical condition.
The driver of the car that struck the trooper is identified as Prasad Yadavalli, 60, of Galloway Township, New Jersey. He was transported to Prince George's Hospital where is receiving treatment.
Just before 2 p.m. Thursday, Ganeshananda was seated in his unmarked patrol vehicle investigating a vehicle crash. A 2011 Mercedes Benz C300, driven by Yadavalli, struck the rear of the patrol car and drove into the vehicle in front of it.
The Mercedes came to rest partially in lane four. Simultaneously, a tow truck in lane four struck the Mercedes and drove it into the driver's side door of the patrol car. The trooper was trapped inside his vehicle.
Another tow truck was passing by and the driver stopped to pull the Mercedes off the patrol car, enabling fire and EMS personnel to reach the trooper.
The preliminary investigation indicates that the Mercedes struck three other vehicles before hitting the patrol car. A cause of Yadavalli's actions has not been identified. No one else was injured in the crashes that occurred.
No charges have been filed as the Maryland State Police Crash Team continues its investigation.
Trooper Ganeshananda joined the Maryland State Police in January 2015 and graduated from the Training Academy in July 2015. His brother is also a Maryland state trooper.