- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 9, 2004

A Maryland State Police trooper was killed after being struck by a van and dragged several hundred yards on Route 50 early yesterday, just days before he was to receive the “Top Cop” award for his performance last month, police said.

Trooper 1st Class Anthony Jones, 50, was helping clear a single-vehicle crash shortly after 2 a.m. on eastbound Route 50 at Freeway Airport, just west of Bowie. He had been on routine night patrol and had stopped to help another trooper, who was tending to the scene of the crash.

Police said Trooper Jones was dragged several hundred yards after being hit by a 1986 Volkswagen van. After the incident, the driver of the van stopped, and two off-duty police officers said the driver appeared drunk.

The driver of the van, Darryl C. Harris, 42, of Laurel, was charged in Prince George’s County yesterday afternoon with driving while under the influence of alcohol, driving under the influence per se, and driving while impaired by alcohol. Mr. Harris was held overnight at state police barracks in College Park.

Police said the investigation continues and more charges might be filed against Mr. Harris after authorities consult with the State’s Attorney’s Office for Prince George’s County.

Police said emergency lights were flashing on the two police cruisers stopped on the shoulder of Route 50. The earlier crash involved a motorist who told police he hit a jersey wall after he was cut off by another car. A wheel and a tire were knocked off and rolled to a stop in the passing lane of Route 50.

Trooper Jones turned on his flashlight and waved it to oncoming traffic as he crossed the highway to retrieve the wheel and the tire, police said. He picked up the items and was walking back across the highway when he was hit by the van.

Trooper Jones was pronounced dead at the scene.

“TFC Jones was an outstanding trooper who set an example for others to follow,” said State Police Superintendent Col. Thomas E. Hutchins, who went to the scene and later notified the trooper’s wife and two daughters, ages 13 and 16.

Besides the Top Cop award, Trooper Jones received a valor award for helping rescue several people from a burning convenience store in College Park in July 2000.

“He was committed to a life of service, to his nation and his state. His life, his legacy and his sacrifice will always be remembered,” Col. Hutchins said.

Trooper Jones’ death comes at the beginning of National Police Week, which honors police who have died while performing their duties.

Trooper Jones joined the Maryland State Police in 1998 after retiring from the U.S. Air Force. He patrolled roads while assigned to the College Park barracks.

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