21 October 2010

Police officer dies after crash with fire truck

From the Baltimore Sun:
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.
The article noted the recent string of tragedies for the police department:
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.
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