Today, March 30, just after midnight, Montgomery County Police – Sixth District officer Robert Sagona was traveling north on Interstate 270 (I-270) in the area of Montgomery Village Avenue (Maryland Route 124 – Exit 11) in his marked cruiser when he observed a black, Chevrolet Impala driving erratically in front of him at a high rate of speed. A registration check of the vehicle’s tag indicated that the tag was not registered to that vehicle. When Officer Sagona attempted to initiate a traffic stop on the vehicle, the driver failed to stop and continued to drive north on Interstate 270. A pursuit of the vehicle was initiated.
Officers from the 5th District were alerted to the pursuit and deployed Stop Sticks on the northbound lanes of the roadway; the suspect vehicle’s tires were deflated and the vehicle was rendered inoperable. The two occupants of the vehicle then fled from the vehicle on Interstate 270 just south of the exit for Clarksburg Road (Maryland Route 121 – Exit 16).
Officers from the Gaithersburg Police Department, the Maryland-National Capital Park Police Department-Montgomery County Division, and troopers from the Maryland State Police (MSP) assisted in the search for the suspects. A MSP helicopter was also called to assist. The suspects were not located.
During the search for the two suspects, Officer Sagona had walked from the northbound lanes of I-270 to the southbound lanes. When the search was suspended at approximately 1:20 a.m., Officer Sagona began to return to his vehicle, which was parked on the northbound portion of I-270. A Maryland State Trooper had positioned his marked vehicle to block the far right, southbound lane. The driver of a 2011 Subaru Forrester, who was traveling south, moved from the right lane to avoid the MSP cruiser and struck Officer Sagona who was in the middle lane.
The driver of the Forrester is identified as Hunter Lee White, age 19, of Germantown.
Officer Sagona was airlifted to a hospital with serious, non-life-threatening injuries by the MSP helicopter that had come to assist in the search for the suspects.
The collision investigation is being conducted by the Collision Reconstruction Unit (CRU) and the vehicle investigation is being conducted by the Central Auto Theft Section (CATS).
Officer Sagona, a Sixth District patrol officer, remains hospitalized in stable condition. He has been on the Police Department for approximately four years.