Posted on Jun 09, 2011
A Maryland State Police Trooper died in a car accident while on duty May 21.

Trooper First Class Shaft Hunter, 39, crashed into the back of a stopped vehicle, presumably while following a speeding motorcyclist on Interstate 95.

The accident occurred at approximately 2:30 a.m. on the southbound lanes of I-95, just south of Route 32 in Laurel.

According to a witness, a speeding motorcyclist passed by the spot just seconds before Hunter, who was on duty at the time.

Hunter apparently lost control of his police cruiser and slammed into the back of a tractor-trailer that had stopped on the side of the interstate. He was declared dead at the scene.

The truck's driver, 46-year-old Albert Sandino, was uninjured. He told police he had pulled over to check directions.

Although Hunter had not called in to report a car chase, police say that's not uncommon and that Hunter was likely following the speeding motorcyclist. Investigators hope to track down the rider with the help of local license plate readers.

Police also closed off the southbound lanes of I-95 for six hours to complete an accident investigation.

Hunter was an 11-year veteran and a father of six children. Governor Martin O'Malley ordered state flags to fly at half-mast in honor of Hunter, the 43rd Maryland state trooper to die while on duty.

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