Police Officer Dies In Off Duty Crash

Saturday, September 17, 2011 – Robert Lang and Associated Press
District of Columbia police say that a 10-year department veteran died Friday from injuries suffered in a traffic accident while off-duty in suburban Maryland.

Commander Andrew Solberg of the Fifth District Station said in an email to district residents that Officer Jelani Prather died Friday afternoon.

WJLA.com reported that Prather’s car struck a tanker truck early Friday afternoon on the shoulder of Interstate 270 south of the Falls Road exit in Montgomery County, Md.

The news station reported that the driver apparently didn’t brake. It said investigators found the Freightliner tanker truck driver was checking an equipment problem when he saw a Scion XB approaching on the right shoulder. The truck driver told police he put the truck into drive and honked his horn to avoid a crash, but that the Scion struck the rear of the truck.

No charges have been filed and the police investigation continues.

Prather joined the department in September, 2001, and was assigned to the Fifth District in northeast Washington.

Solberg wrote “Officer Prather was assigned to a motorcycle beat in PSA 503 on the evening shift, and was much loved by his colleagues here at 5D as well as those he served in the community.”


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