UPDATED Friday afternoon, April 15
LANHAM, MD – The Maryland state trooper struck and injured on the Capital Beltway yesterday remains in critical condition as the investigation continues to determine the cause of the multi-vehicle crash.
Trooper Ezra Ganeshananda, 26, of the College Park Barrack, was injured when the patrol car he was sitting in on the shoulder of the outer loop of I-95/495, north of Rt. 450, at about 2 p.m. Thursday, April 14 was struck from behind. He continues to be listed in critical condition at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center where he is undergoing treatment.
The driver who struck the trooper, Prasad Yadavalli, 60, of Galloway Township, New Jersey, remains at Prince George’s Hospital Center for treatment of his injuries. No charges have been filed as the investigation continues.
Troopers from the Maryland State Police Crash Team continue to investigate this multi-vehicle crash. Troopers are interviewing witnesses and reviewing an extensive amount of evidence and information about what occurred.
Investigators believe the Mercedes driven by Yadavalli was involved in a possible hit and run crash on the outer loop of I-95/495 as much as a mile or more south of the trooper’s location. It is unknown at this time if Yadavalli caused that crash with one or more vehicles, or was struck by a vehicle that did not stop.
Witnesses are clear in their statements to investigators that they saw the Mercedes driving down the right shoulder of the interstate before striking the rear of the parked Maryland State Police patrol car. The Mercedes was then struck by a tow truck and driven into the side of the patrol car. Troopers continue to work to determine why the Mercedes was traveling on the shoulder of the road.
Upon completion, the crash reconstruction and investigation will be presented to the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office for review. It is not known when the investigation will be completed.
UPDATE: Friday morning, April 15
LANHAM, MD – The Maryland state trooper injured while working a crash investigation this afternoon on the outer loop of I-95/495 in Prince George’s County remains in critical condition as investigators continue to work to determine what caused a driver to strike several other vehicles before striking the troopers car.
The driver of the car that struck the trooper is identified as Prasad Yadavalli, 60, of Galloway Township, New Jersey. He was transported by ambulance to Prince George’s Hospital where he is undergoing treatment.
Shortly before 2 p.m. Thursday, April 14, Trooper Ezra Ganeshananda, 26, of the College Park Barrack, was seated in his unmarked patrol vehicle on the shoulder of the outer loop of I-95/495 north of Rt. 450. He was investigating a vehicle crash that had occurred earlier and was parked behind a damaged vehicle and a tow truck that was preparing to remove the car.
At that time, a 2011 Mercedes Benz C300, driven by Yadavalli, struck the rear of the patrol vehicle and drove it into the vehicle in front of it. The Mercedes then came to rest partially in lane four. Simultaneously, a tow truck in lane four struck the Mercedes and drove it into the driver’s side door of the patrol car. The trooper was trapped inside his vehicle.
Another tow truck driver passing by stopped and used his tow truck to pull the Mercedes off the patrol car to enable fire and EMS personnel to reach the trooper. Prince George’s County Fire Department personnel extricated the trooper and he was flown by Maryland State Police medevac helicopter to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center.
The preliminary investigation indicates that before striking the patrol car, the Mercedes had struck three vehicles in lane one of the outer loop of I-95/495 and was driving on the fast shoulder about one and one-half miles south of the trooper’s location. His vehicle then traveled across the interstate onto the slow shoulder where he continued to drive before striking the rear of the patrol car. A cause of Yadavalli’s actions has not been identified at this time. No one else was injured in the crashes that occurred.
The Maryland State Police Crash Team is investigating. Charges are pending. Investigators will be consulting with the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office.
All lanes of I-95/495 were reopened to traffic at about 6:15 p.m.
Trooper Ezra Ganeshananda joined the Maryland State Police in January 2015 and graduated from the Training Academy in July 2015. His brother is also a Maryland state trooper. His brother and other family members are with him at the hospital. Maryland State Police Superintendent Colonel William Pallozzi, Lt. Colonel Anthony Satchell, and a number of troopers are also at the Shock Trauma Center providing assistance and support to the trooper’s family.
The driver involved in the troopers crash is identified as Prasad Yadavalli, 60, of Galloway TWP, NJ. Charges are pending.
— MD State Police (@MDSP) April 14, 2016
Lanham, Md – A Maryland state trooper was injured Thursday afternoon in a car crash on the Beltway.
According to the Maryland State Police, the trooper was investigating a crash on the shoulder of the Outer Loop near Maryland Route 450 when another vehicle struck the trooper’s parked cruiser, trapping the trooper inside.
The trooper was flown to a nearby hospital for treatment.
All lanes of the Outer Loop were closed as a result of the accident.