April 14, 2016
(LANHAM, MD) – The Maryland state trooper injured while working a crash investigation this afternoon on the outer loop of I-95/495 in Prince George’s County remains in critical condition as investigators continue to work to determine what caused a driver to strike several other vehicles before striking the troopers car.
The driver of the car that struck the trooper is identified as Prasad Yadavalli, 60, of Galloway Township, New Jersey. He was transported by ambulance to Prince George’s Hospital where he is undergoing treatment.
Shortly before 2:00 p.m. today, Trooper Ezra Ganeshananda, 26, of the College Park Barrack, was seated in his unmarked patrol vehicle on the shoulder of the outer loop of I-95/495 north of Rt. 450. He was investigating a vehicle crash that had occurred earlier and was parked behind a damaged vehicle and a tow truck that was preparing to remove the car.
At that time, a 2011 Mercedes Benz C300, driven by Yadavalli, struck the rear of the patrol vehicle and drove it into the vehicle in front of it. The Mercedes then came to rest partially in lane four. Simultaneously, a tow truck in lane four struck the Mercedes and drove it into the driver’s side door of the patrol car. The trooper was trapped inside his vehicle.
Another tow truck driver passing by stopped and used his tow truck to pull the Mercedes off the patrol car to enable fire and EMS personnel to reach the trooper. Prince George’s County Fire Department personnel extricated the trooper and he was flown by Maryland State Police medevac helicopter to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center.
The preliminary investigation indicates that before striking the patrol car, the Mercedes had struck three vehicles in lane one of the outer loop of I-95/495 and was driving on the fast shoulder about one and one-half miles south of the trooper’s location. His vehicle then traveled across the interstate onto the slow shoulder where he continued to drive before striking the rear of the patrol car. A cause of Yadavalli’s actions has not been identified at this time. No one else was injured in the crashes that occurred.
The Maryland State Police Crash Team is investigating. Charges are pending. Investigators will be consulting with the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office.
All lanes of I-95/495 were reopened to traffic at about 6:15 p.m.
Trooper Ezra Ganeshananda joined the Maryland State Police in January 2015 and graduated from the Training Academy in July 2015. His brother is also a Maryland state trooper. His brother and other family members are with him at the hospital. Maryland State Police Superintendent Colonel William Pallozzi, Lt. Colonel Anthony Satchell, and a number of troopers are also at the Shock Trauma Center providing assistance and support to the trooper’s family.