Brief statement from police at hospital.
1:30 PM UPDATE– Baltimore City officials report that a police officer was killed this morning after his cruiser ran into the rear of a Baltimore City Fire Department engine.
Fire Chief Jim Clack made the announcement at a press conference outside the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center. The officer has been identified as Tommy Portz . Officer Portz leaves behind a wife and three children.
Chief Clack says Engine 8 was looking for a medical call on the highway and stopped to speak to a film crew in the area to determine if they had seen anything. The officer’s cruiser came up at a high rate of speed behind the engine and apparently the officer was unable to stop.
The crew from the engine worked to extricate the officer who was trapped in the cruiser. Chief Clack says Officer Portz went into cardiac arrest on the way to the hospital. He was pronounced dead at 10:22 AM.
Portz, a New York native, was a personal friend and hockey teammate of Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III, who was not present at the conference.
The front end and windshield of the police car, observed at the scene of the accident, were crushed, with the front fender completely off the vehicle.
The department is still reeling from the recent deaths of two other active duty officers. Officer James Fowler was killed Sept. 27 in a single-vehicle crash while en route to a training seminar in Pennsylvania, while Detective Brian Stevenson died Saturday after being struck in the head with a piece of cement during an off-duty argument over a parking spot.
EARLIER UPDATES– A press conference is scheduled for the noon hour in Baltimore to discuss the condition of the police officer injured this morning. Based on these two updates in Tweets from Baltimore Sun reporter Justin Fenton, the news does not sound good.
10/20 at 12:51 pm: justin_fenton: Word spreading on facebook of officers condition thats contrary to official reports. social media rearing ugly head or best source for info
10/20 at 12:21 pm: justin_fenton: in very brief comments, police and fire spokesmen say officer is in ‘extremely serious condition.’ We hear he’s a 10 year vet assigned to WD
Around 10:00 this morning a Baltimore City Police Department cruiser ran into a fire engine. Here’s what’s known so far.
The crash happened at West Franklin and North Calhoun Streets.
A Baltimore City Police cruiser rear-ended a Baltimore City Fire truck under the Stricker Street Bridge.
The fire truck had stopped to help an injured person, officials told 11 News.
The officer, along with one member of the engine company, were taken to Shock Trauma for treatment.
The police cruiser sustained heavy damage. The engine company truck received moderate damage.
According to Baltimore City Fire Department spokesman Chief Kevin Cartwright, four firefighters were taken to Maryland Shock Trauma as well with non-life threatening injuries.
One firefighter is being treated for a cut to his face and the three others are all being checked out as a precaution.