As you remember these fallen officers, take comfort in recalling that they dedicated their lives to the same principles of honor, duty and courage that brought you to the badge. Such a life is truly rich. Take strength in knowing that when an officer falls, our resolve to serve those in need is not diminished. Our dedication to protecting those in danger is not weakened. Our commitment to remembering those with whom we shared the badge does not fade.
Godspeed, brothers and sisters. You fought the good fight. Now rest in peace…
Officer Down: Ofc. Duke G Aaron - [Baltimore, Maryland]
By Liz F. Kay and Lester J. Davis, The Baltimore Sun Staff
A Maryland Transportation Authority police officer who received his department's top honor three times, died yesterday afternoon after a pickup truck smashed his cruiser from behind on Route 50 west of the Bay Bridge.
Officer Duke G. Aaron III was struck about 10 a.m. while sitting in his cruiser on the right shoulder of westbound Route 50 near St. Margarets Road after issuing a traffic citation, said Catherine Leahan, a spokeswoman for the Maryland Transportation Authority.
Both Aaron and the truck's driver were flown to Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore as authorities shut down westbound lanes of the main artery across the Bay Bridge, backing up traffic by as much as 10 miles.
Aaron went into cardiac arrest at 11:40 a.m., said Dr. Thomas M. Scalea, chief of physicians at Shock Trauma. Doctors stabilized him and brought him to the operating room, but he died at 1:02 p.m.
"He was just an outstanding young man, someone I'm proud to call one of my officers," said transportation police Chief Gary W. McLhinney, who joined law enforcement officers and Aaron's family at the hospital yesterday.
The Pasadena resident -- who celebrated his 29th birthday July 5 -- was a 10-year veteran of the force recognized for his dedication to his work. Aaron had been named the department's Officer of the Year three times -- in 2001, 2002 and 2003. Transportation authority officials also said he once prevented a woman from committing suicide at the Bay Bridge.
"Kendel and I are shocked and saddened by this tragic news," said Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. in a statement. "Officer Aaron represented the finest Maryland's law enforcement community has to offer."
McLhinney said that the driver of the pickup truck, an Eastern Shore man, was not seriously injured, but he did not identify him, adding that charges are pending.
Police are investigating.
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