By Chris Kaltenbach and Carrie Wells
The Baltimore Sun
PASADENA, Md. — A Maryland state trooper was listed in critical condition at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center after being struck by a car early Sunday morning in Pasadena.
The trooper, Jacqueline A. Kline, has a serious head injury that could keep her in the hospital for weeks, as well as a broken arm, cuts and bruises, according to Col. Marcus Brown, superintendent of the Maryland State Police.
Kline was backing up a K-9 trooper who had pulled over a suspected drunken driver headed east on Route 100, just before the Catherine Avenue exit, at about 1 a.m., according to Maryland State Police.
She was out of her car and walking on the shoulder when she was struck by a Nissan driven by Enrique Guzman, 21, of Pasadena, state police reported.
Kline was thrown onto the hood of the car and then onto the back of the K-9 unit, hitting the back windshield and a metal cage inside, police said. She then fell off the car and landed in a ditch beside the road.
The trooper was taken by U.S. Park Police helicopter to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where her condition was changed from serious to critical but stable on Sunday afternoon.
Brown said neurosurgeons have been monitoring Kline closely. The superintendent went to Shock Trauma with Kline's family, state police command staff and several fellow troopers on Sunday.
"We're obviously just thinking about the family and praying for the family and hoping for the best," he said.
Route 100 was closed to eastbound traffic for about four hours following the incident, state police reported.
Police said Guzman stayed at the scene, and they found no evidence that either Guzman or the driver who had been stopped originally were driving under the influence. The state police crash team is investigating and will forward its findings to the Anne Arundel County state's attorney's office for review. Guzman had not been charged as of Sunday night. The driver who had initially been pulled over was issued a warning for speeding.
Kline graduated from the Maryland State Police Academy in July 2012. Police said her badge was pinned on her at graduation by her father, who is a trooper with the New Jersey State Police.
Her supervisor called her "one of his best at the barrack already," state police spokesman Greg Shipley said Sunday.
Kline is "considered one of the rising stars at the Glen Burnie Barrack, where she has performed fabulously," Brown said, adding that she had recently chased down and arrested a robbery suspect. "She's one of the good ones for sure."