ROCKVILLE, Md. - Two off-duty officials are being mourned by their family and colleagues after they were killed after being struck by a car along the side of I-270 in Montgomery County.
33-year-old Sander Cohen, a Maryland State Police Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office Deputy Chief, and 36-year-old Carlos Wolff, an FBI Supervisory Special Agent were both killed after being struck by a car after Wolff's car got into an accident and Cohen stopped to assist, according to police.
They say the two men moved their cars to the side, with Cohen's car blocking traffic with flashers on and called for assistance from authorities.
They were struck while standing on the shoulder by one car and were both thrown over the jersey wall.
One of the men was then hit by another car on the other side of the jersey wall. Officials say Deputy Chief State Fire Marshal Cohen died at the scene and Special Agent Wolff died after being taken to Suburban Hospital.
The families and colleagues from all over have been expressing their sadness for the loss of the two men.
Maryland State Police say Deputy Chief Sander Cohen was a nine-year veteran of the Office of the Maryland State Fire Marshal and an active member with the Rockville Volunteer Fire Department, Station 33. He had been appointed a Regional Commander of the Northern Regional Office this past January. They say he was responsible for supervising fire investigations in Carroll, Harford, and Cecil counties.
"Deputy Chief State Fire Marshal Sander Cohen was an exemplary investigator and leader who took great pride in his law enforcement career and who devoted himself to protecting and serving the citizens of Maryland," Maryland State Fire Marshal Brian Geraci said in a statement.
"Sander will be missed by all those who had the pleasure of knowing him. We will forever keep the Cohen family in our thoughts and prayers"
"Deputy Chief Cohen had no idea who was inside the vehicle he stopped behind," Maryland State Police Superintendent Colonel William Pallozzi said. "He just recognized that someone needed help and he never hesitated last night to stop and help someone in need. Deputy Chief State Fire Marshal Sander Cohen has now joined the ranks of Maryland's Fallen Heroes."
Cohen's body was escorted in a processional of police/fire vehicles on Saturday night to Danzansky-Goldberg Funeral Home in Rockville.
Special Agent Wolff, who was from Gaithersburg, had worked for the FBI for 11 years.
"Carlos Wolff of Gaithersburg, MD is the son of Maria and Jorge Wolff. He leaves behind his wife, their 7-year-old son, 2-year-old daughter and five siblings. Carlos was a graduate of American University," said the Wolff family in a statement.
"Our Carlos was an amazing father, husband, uncle and brother who made us all very proud. He loved serving his country as a part of the FBI. He was always so helpful and giving, not just to his friends but strangers too. Our hearts are broken. We appreciate your prayers during this difficult time,"
The FBI also issued a statement on social media, saying "Our deepest condolences go out to the family, friends, and colleagues of FBI Supervisory Special Agent Carlos Wolff, who passed away last night after being involved in a motor vehicle accident. Please keep SSA Wolff and his family in your thoughts and prayers."
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan also issued a statement on the passing of the two men: "We thank these officers for their selfless dedication to our state and our nation, and the First Lady and I send our heartfelt prayers to their families, loved ones, and friends during this tragic time."