A Baltimore police officer died and four firefighters were taken to a local hospital Wednesday after the officer's car rear-ended a parked fire engine on U.S. 40, officials said.
Officer Tommy Portz, a 10-year veteran and married father of three, was pronounced dead while being taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center, officials said. The 32-year-old is the third active city officer killed in less than a month.
Fire Chief James Clack said that Engine 8 was dispatched to a report of an injured person in the median area of Calhoun and Franklin streets but could not locate a patient. Firefighters observed a film crew working in the road and stopped to ask if they had seen anything.
That's when Portz's vehicle ran into the fire engine at a high rate of speed, causing significant front-end damage, Clack said. There were no skid marks behind the car to indicate that he had braked.
Portz becomes the third active officer to be killed in the past month, and the first in the line of duty since 2007. Officer James Fowler, who was a member of the accident investigation team, died Sept. 27 in a single-vehicle accident while driving to a training seminar in Pennsylvania.
On Saturday, off-duty Detective Brian Stevenson was killed after being struck in the head with a piece of concrete during an off-duty argument over a parking spot. Stevenson's funeral is set for Monday.