Man Gets $280 Fine For Killing Two Law Enforcement Officers

A man who killed two members of law enforcement with his car in December ended up with only a ticket.

Rockville, MD – The driver who ran over two police officers who were stopped on the shoulder for a collision will walk away with a fine and a few new points on his driving record.

Maryland State Police Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office Sander Cohen and Federal Bureau of Investigation Supervisory Special Agent Carlos Wolff were both killed after 28-year-old Roberto A. Garza Palacios lost control of his vehicle on Route 270 near the Falls Road exit on Dec. 8, 2017, WTTG reported.

Agent Wolff, 36, had been involved in a crash with his personal vehicle, and Chief Cohen stopped to assist him at about 10 p.m.

Police said that Chief Cohen, 33, turned on his emergency flashers and positioned his vehicle to block off Wolff’s damaged one while he called officers for assistance, WTTG reported.

Investigators said that Agent Wolff and Chief Cohen were both standing outside their vehicles in the left emergency lane talking when Palacios came upon the scene.

Palacios, 28, told police he was in the left lane and tried to change lanes to avoid the stopped cars, but was blocked by traffic. So instead, he tried to go left around the vehicles.

He swerved left and hit both Agent Wolff and Chief Cohen, throwing them over the median’s dividing barrier and into oncoming traffic on the southbound side of the freeway, WTTG reported.

Chief Cohen died at the scene. Agent Wolff was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead, police said.

Palacios remained at the scene and cooperated with police, WTTG reported.

Investigators determined that neither alcohol, nor drugs, nor speed were factors in the tragic crash.

Palacios met with Maryland State Police in April and received a negligent driving citation that carried a $280 fine and three points, WTTG reported.

Comments (27)
No. 1-27
Betts122
Betts122

BS!

ShelbyCole
ShelbyCole

Fake Outrage ALERT. Investigators determined that neither alcohol, nor drugs, nor speed were factors in the tragic crash. IT WAS ACCIDENTAL, Don't Fall the for the Clickbait.

Sun2Sea
Sun2Sea

"Clickbait"? A driver ends the lives of two people and you believe that a $280 fine is sufficient? Of course it was an accident, but drivers are responsible for driving with care and caution. They are responsible for driving at a safe speed. No responsibility, no consequences and no justice for the grieving families. I hope you never get stranded alongside a busy roadway and expect the traffic to avoid the inconvenience you are to their travels.

Lex450
Lex450

There's a section in all states called involuntary manslaughter. Or involuntary vehicular manslaughter. It may not be worded that way in some states but the definition is the same.

In plain English it's accidentally killing someone. Yes it's accidental. But the punishment must fit the crime. Because accident or not, it's still a crime.

The least they could of done is gave the charges to the DA's office and let them decide if they wish to charge the driver or not. But based on how this article reads, it sounds like the department handled it themselves and just gave a ticket for some vehicle code violation.

So no, there was no click bait here. You should stick to your, "Donald Trump changed his entire presidency with this one word" articles and continue to click there.

b1rd
b1rd

Hey Shelby,,, you can read,,,, congrats. As for the "fake outrage alert" Where in the world did that come from? Jumping to conclusions about someone not reading?

JBo
JBo

The article says the driver received a citation for negligent driving...did you miss that?

BobS
BobS

Since alcohol, nor drugs, nor speed were a contributing factor the prosecutor may not have been able to charge with vehicular manslaughter in that state. It is doubtful that the investigating agency took it upon themselves to just charge without checking with the local DA. It is incomprehensible that it went through the court system without the DA's knowledge as it stood.
Generally, a reckless act must accompany the deaths in such an occurrence to bring forward the charge of vehicular manslaughter. Reckless being driving at unreasonable speeds, drinking, or the use of drugs etc.
Horribly sad but true, sounds like an accident the guy tried to avoid and was unable to.

Memere
Memere

The driver in front of me was cut off but continued to go, so I did too. I think after he realized what just happened he slammed his brakes. By this time I was only doing 25, but still rear ended him. There was nothing wrong with him or his car. I was injured and my car damaged

I paid $300 fine and was put on probation for a year.

Unreal that someone who killed 2 people got a slap on the hand! The lights were flashing! He could have stopped or slowed down and waited to get in the other lane.

SNODANCER
SNODANCER

I don't think there is such a thing as an "accident"......it always boils down to someone's mistake or carelessness........you may have to track it backwards a ways, but you always find the reason for the event.....this person was driving and did not have control of his vehicle, which resulted in the death of 2 Officers......I agree with others, it was vehicular homicide by negligence.....it should have been charged as such and convicted to jail time plus a fine for taking two good men's lives.....

John-Brown
John-Brown

This occured in Montgomery County, Maryland, our only sanctuary county, so the people there could care less about the LEO's and EMS.

Chicagohistoryguy
Chicagohistoryguy

You're so wrong! He should be charged with the death of two people....yes there is a law for it. It's usually called involuntary manslaughter!

g $
g $

An article on wtop.com said that the State Attorney’s Office was consulted before issuing charges.

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

Stay safe, officers. Don't stand outside of your vehicles at the side of a busy road when you could be safely inside one of the vehicles. These officers paid the ultimate price for their tragic carelessness.

Mrs10
Mrs10

Seriously??!! When you have pockets of the judiciary who actively go out of their way to screw cops in the short-term (ie sanctuary), a society cannot stand in the long-term.

The most critical industry for the survival of a society is law enforcement (paraphrasing Colonel Grossman).

John-Brown
John-Brown

I was commenting on the people of Montgomery County, not the "Judiciary", hence the word "people". I was a police officer in that county for 15 years. The attitudes of the citizens is very anti police, but I was actually referring to attitude while they drive. They are the worst drivers I have ever dealt with. It's not a lack of ability, but their inability to drive with any sense of anyone's safety. I assure you this accident could have been prevented if the drivers collectively drove without their heads up their asses.

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

Sounds like they decided that he wasn't trying to "pass on the left" but rather to avoid rear-ending cars stopped on the freeway. In retrospect, he should have rearended the stopped cars, but, more to your point, rearending a stopped car on the freeway, or swerving to avoid doing so is not usually considered to be reckless driving. In theory, there should be enough distance so that one can stop, but, in practice, on busy freeways cars don't always maintain these distances, and this is part of what helps keep the freeway moving along. This is part of the reason that the police officers should have known enough to get inside the largest and/or least exposed vehicle while hanging out by the median.

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

In this situation they would clearly have lived if inside the vehicle. This is important to Understand bcs blue lives matter.

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

No, I have long thought that police officers need to stop standing near busy highways as much as they do. I used to think that when I made my weekly highway trip and there would always be officers giving tickets with their backsides hanging over the fog line. Then one day a crazy person (one who had been in and out of mental hospitals) started playing bumper cars with the other cars on that stretch of freeway where they like to give speeding tickets. He saw one of those officers standing by a driver's side window like a target, and he took his chance and killed the officer on purpose with his car. After that, the staties did passenger side approaches for about a year, but now they are back to driver's side. This is an area where police officers really need re-education and re-training and have for a long time. Some dangerous ways of thinking are deeply ingrained in a lot of police officers and sometimes it ends up killing them when they did not have to die.

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

"The article says the driver received a citation for negligent driving...did you miss that?"

@JBo: And if it had been regular citizens he wouldn't have gotten one. Police gave a citation because it deflected attention from the negligence of the dead officers.

John-Brown
John-Brown

BREAKING NEWS, from the Washington post: Federal immigration officers on Thursday arrested the driver of a Honda Accord that fatally struck two law enforcement officers in Maryland late last year, officials said Friday.

Roberto Garza Palacios, 28, was taken into custody at his residence, said Justine Whelan, a spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). He had been living in a two-story Gaithersburg home in the 400 block of Belle Grove Road, according to court records and residents of the house. THE LINK BELOW WORKS.