On November 11, 2014 at 5:52p.m., Calvert County Sheriff’s Office, Deputy First Class ( Dfc.) R. Kreps was involved in a serious motor vehicle crash at the intersection of Prince Frederick Boulevard and Allnut Court in Prince Frederick while on duty. Dfc. Kreps collided with a 2013 Toyota Corolla operated by Viral Dharamshibhai Patel and occupied by front seat passenger Jitewdra Mehta. The occupants of both vehicles sustained injuries as a result of the crash and all three were transported to Calvert Memorial Hospital. Mehta was later transferred to Medstar Washington Hospital Center to be treated.
Dfc. Kreps was attempting to locate a reported vehicle operated by a possibly impaired driver. Prior to the crash, the Calvert Control Center broadcast a lookout for the vehicle traveling northbound on Prince Frederick Boulevard approaching the intersection of West Dares Beach Road. Dfc. Kreps was attempting to get to the intersection of Prince Frederick Boulevard and West Dares Beach Road to locate the vehicle. As Dfc. Kreps approached the intersection of Allnut Court, the Toyota operated by Dharamshibhai was in the process of making a left turn and had entered the southbound lane of Prince Frederick Boulevard. Dfc. Kreps applied his brakes but was unable to avoid striking the Toyota in a “T-Bone” type collision.
Due to the severity of this crash, the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office Crash Reconstruction Team responded to conduct the investigation. A draft of the reconstruction report was submitted on December 17, 2014. Sergeant V. Bortchevsky and Corporal James Wahlgren worked together to examine the evidence that included the following: roadway evidence, photographs, vehicle damage profiles, a witness statement, vehicle evidence, Bosch Crash Data Retrieval reports from Dfc. Kreps’ agency vehicle and the Toyota, and Kreps’ in car video. In addition to reviewing the evidence, a night time visibility study was conducted in order to recreate the driver’s view from the perspectives of both drivers. Calculations were also taken to determine the speeds of both vehicles, pre and post impact.
The reconstruction investigation determined there were two contributing factors, speed and line of site. Dfc. Kreps was traveling at a high rate of speed attempting to locate the impaired driver when he approached the intersection of Allnut Court. The driver of the Toyota’s line of site to Dfc. Kreps’ vehicle was approximately 320 feet to the north viewing the southbound lanes of Prince Frederick Boulevard. Thus it was impossible for the operator of the Toyota to see Dfc. Kreps’ vehicle prior to making the left turn. As with every departmental crash, the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office of Professional Standards is conducting an internal investigation of this incident.
The Calvert County Sheriff’s Office places a heavy emphasis on the safe operation of agency vehicles. While Maryland Vehicle Law Section 21-106 exempts drivers of emergency vehicles from having to obey certain laws, emergency vehicles must be driven with the due regard for the safety of others at all times. We continue to conduct training on the operation of emergency vehicles and pursuit tactics. Deputies know they are held accountable for their driving and for the speeds at which they are traveling at all times, even more so during a pursuit and/or priority response to an emergency call for service. As an additional layer of risk management, supervisors are required to acknowledge and monitor all emergency response calls and adjust the deputy’s response as circumstances dictate.