Friday, November 25, 2016

Montgomery County police cruiser struck by drunk driver in Burtonsville (Photo)

A Laurel man was arrested and charged with DUI after he struck a Montgomery County police cruiser last Saturday night on Spencerville Road near Burtonsville Drive. Two off-duty County officers were helping with traffic control at a mosque there, when they were approached by an elderly woman whose Pontiac Sunfire had broken down on the eastbound side of Spencerville Road.

While one of the officers assisted to ensure the woman returned safely to her vehicle, the second officer positioned his cruiser behind the Pontiac to provide some protection from oncoming vehicles. The action may have saved her life.

Shortly afterward, a 2006 Kia Sedona smashed into the police cruiser, which had its lights flashing for extra visibility. The driver, Pedro Gaona Vera, 56, of Laurel, drove the police cruiser into the Sunfire. Fortunately, the woman - now in the passenger seat awaiting a tow truck - was not injured by the collision. The Dodge Magnum police cruiser took significant damage from the collision, but neither officer was hurt.

Vera was also uninjured. But he did find himself under arrest, after a Breathalyzer test indicated his blood alcohol level was .11. The legal limit in Maryland is .08.

Photo: Montgomery County Police Department

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