- The Washington Times - Saturday, May 21, 2011

A Maryland State Police trooper was killed in the line of duty early Saturday in a traffic crash on Interstate 95 in Howard County.

Trooper First Class Shaft S. Hunter, 39 and an 11-year state police veteran veteran, was working a night patrol shift on I-95, when the crash occurred.

Authorities say the preliminary investigation showed that TFC Hunter was traveling southbound on I-95 at about 2:40 a.m. when he struck a tractor trailer that was parked on the shoulder of the interstate, just before the entrance ramp to a rest area.

A witness told investigators he was passed by a speeding motorcycle just before he was passed by a marked State Police car. Moments later, the witness said the patrol car struck the rear of the tractor trailer.

Authorities said TFC Hunter, who was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash, may have been following the motorcycle. The patrol car hit the rear of the tractor trailer and then traveled down the side of the trailer, coming to rest near the front of the trailer. The tractor trailer driver was not injured in the crash.

Authorities said TFC Hunter was born in Bridgeport, Conn. He held a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice from St. Augustine College in Raleigh, North Carolina. After college, he joined the United States Marine Corps, where he served from 1994 to 2000. He was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps with the rank of captain. He had six children, ages 4-19.

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