MARYLAND - This week alone, three law enforcement officers have been struck by drunk drivers. In one case, one of the accused drunk drivers was a tow truck operator responding to another crash.
As the holidays approach police in the area want to remind people not to drink and drive. This week's wrecks are perfect examples of why.
The 75-year-old driver, who was allegedly drunk, drove up from behind the troopers vehicles slammed into the first one, spun out of control and then slammed into the other Maryland State Police vehicle.
“You just hear the initial hit and you look in the rear view mirror and the next thing you know - we're still trying to figure out what's going on at this point,” explained Matthew Milich, a Trooper with Maryland State Police.
“It’s too surreal when something like that happens, it's noting you expect on the road,” said another Trooper with Maryland State Police, Thomas Davis. “We hear about it all the time…”
The crash happened Monday on State Route 301 just south of Smallwood drive. The highway was busy with drivers heading home from work around 7 p.m. The troopers got out to check on the driver that hit them.
“There were significant signs of intoxication,” said Milich. “She was ok, she signed a refusal on scene, didn't want to be transported,” Davis explained.
While 75-year-old Ruth Runyan refused transportation to the hospital, she was promptly transported to jail and charged with driving under the influence and a string of additional charges.
The chain of events turned even more bizarre when the tow truck driver 28-year-old Kimberly Wade showed up.
Officers on the scene say she was drunk too, and in fact investigators said they could smell the alcohol. Not only was she charged with dui, but she also had a suspended driver’s license.
“I was initially almost in denial that it couldn't be,” Milich explained. “But at that point realized anything's possible.”
In another incident, 21-year-old Michael Mattingly was also charged with driving under the influence, after the St. Mary’s County Sheriff's Office says he hit one of their deputies.
Corporal Shaun Carberry was on foot and pushed another person out of harm’s way, causing him to get hit. Carberry was seriously injured and is still in the hospital.
These incidents are why police agencies around Maryland want to emphasize the importance of not driving drunk. Maryland State Police says one of the most common excuses they hear from drunk drivers is that they didn’t think they were drunk.