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Struck Maryland State Trooper Critically Injured

A Maryland State Police trooper remained in critical condition Monday morning after being struck during a traffic stop Sunday in Pasadena.

Trooper Jacqueline A. Kline was backing up another trooper who had pulled a motorist over on eastbound Route 100 at about 1 a.m. Sunday when she was hit by a passing vehicle, police said.

Kline, who is assigned to road patrol duties at the Glen Burnie barrack, sustained head injuries, a broken arm, cuts and contusions. She is being treated at University of Maryland R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore.

No charges have been filed against the driver who hit Kline, identified by police as Enrique Guzman Jr., 21, of Pasadena. He was driving a 2007 Nissan Versa.

Kline was backing up a K-9 trooper from the Glen Burnie barrack who had stopped a suspected drunk driver just before the Catherine Avenue exit when she was hit. The trooper was administering field sobriety tests to the driver on the shoulder of Route 100.

Maryland State Police Crash Team investigators believe Guzman was driving eastbound on Route 100, intending to exit at Catherine Avenue, when he hit Kline, who was walking on the shoulder toward the patrol car in front of her.

Preliminary investigations indicate Kline was struck by the right front of the Nissan and hit the hood of the car. She was then propelled into the back of the State Police K-9 car, where she struck the back windshield and metal K-9 cage inside the car.

Kline fell off the police car and landed in a ditch near the highway shoulder, police said.

The K-9 trooper immediately called for assistance and administered emergency care to Kline. She was flown by a U.S. Park Police helicopter to Shock Trauma.

No one else on the scene was struck by the Nissan or injured. The K-9 dog inside the patrol car was not injured.

Both troopers were operating marked patrol cars and had their overhead lights activated at the time of the incident, police said.

Guzman remained at the scene. Troopers administered field sobriety and drug recognition tests to him, and found no evidence that he was driving under the influence. He was returning to his home after work, police said.

State Highway Administration personnel responded to the scene and assisted with the closure of eastbound Route 100 and detours around the area. Eastbound Route 100 was closed for about four hours.

State Police Crash Team investigators will be completing a detailed crash investigation, police said. They will forward their findings to the Anne Arundel County State's Attorney's Office for review regarding charges.

The driver originally stopped by the K-9 trooper was found not to be operating under the influence, police said. He was issued a warning for speeding.

Kline graduated from the Maryland State Police Academy in July 2012. Her badge was pinned on her at graduation by her father, who is a trooper with the New Jersey State Police, police said.

Col. Marcus Brown, superintendent of the Maryland State Police, responded to shock trauma after the accident. He met with members of Kline's family, the state police command staff, and her fellow troopers.

Copyright 2013 - The Capital, Annapolis, Md.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service