Most of the time, we trust in police officers to do their best as citizens, both on-duty and off, and we trust that they will act as responsible members of the community. But on Friday, May 18, one Pennsylvania state trooper found himself the apparent cause of a car accident. The driver of the other car, a 21-year-old North Philadelphia man, was fatally wounded.
The accident occurred on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Upper Dublin. When the trooper struck the rear end of a 1997 Lincoln Town Car, the vehicle burst into flames, engulfing and killing the driver. After the autopsy, the cause of death was determined to be multiple blunt-force trauma, smoke inhalation, and burns. After being administered a field sobriety test, the off-duty state trooper was arrested for driving his own 2003 Toyota pickup while under the influence.
For the time being, no charges have been filed against the trooper in the fatal car accident. However, state police and country detectives are conducting an investigation into the crash. The Pennsylvania State Police are also asking people to contact them with information regarding the accident.
A fatal drunk driving car accident is tragic under any circumstances. A life is senselessly lost, and the family of the victim is left grieving and in search of answers. When the person said to be responsible is a law enforcement officer -- even an off-duty one -- the pain is all the greater. Nothing can bring back the person whose life was lost, and the thought that it was lost at the hands of an individual sworn to uphold the law can only add to the pain and grief that must be endured. It is only hoped that the family finds the strength to survive this incomprehensible tragedy.
Source: Montgomeryville-Lansdale Patch, "State Trooper Suspected Of DUI In Deadly Turnpike Accident," Keith Heffintrayer, May 23, 2012