BRANDYWINE, Md. - Authorities have identified a teenager who was struck and killed by a Metro Transit Police K9-unit vehicle in Prince George's County on Monday.
Maryland State Police said 16-year-old Derrick Staton of Clinton, Maryland was crossing the roadway on Crain Highway (Route 301) at Chadds Ford Drive when he was struck by a vehicle being driven by Officer Gary Bottalico at about 1 p.m.
Bottalico was off-duty while heading to work in his marked K9 truck at the time of the collision. He and his K9 partner were not injured during the incident. Bottalico has been placed on routine administrative paid leave.
Maryland State Police said its preliminary investigation indicates Derrick may have made a "pedestrian error," perhaps contributing to the crash. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Derrick's family said they have several questions about his death, including why the busy intersection has no crosswalks or sidewalks.
"He was a funny guy. Always a jokester, always smiling, always trying to help everybody, he'd give you the shirt off his back," Marla Houston, Derrick's mother said.
There appears to be traffic cameras at the intersection but investigators have not said whether they recorded the collision.
Maryland State Police said its investigation was ongoing and said its official findings will later be presented to the Prince George's County State's Attorney's Office.
Investigators are urging anyone who may have witnessed the incident to call the Maryland State Police's Forestville Barrack at (301) 568-8101.