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Killed in the line of duty

August 03, 2008

Seven members of the Maryland State Police Aviation Command have died on duty in three helicopter and one fixed-wing crash.

There have been no fatalities since 1986.

Those who gave their lives include:

· Trooper 1st Class Arthur W. Plummer Jr., who died April 9, 1961. He was killed in a plane crash while attempting to take off from Assateague Island after locating an individual. He was 36.

· Trooper 1st Class Thomas A. Noyle and Trooper 1st Class Phillip L. Russ died Oct. 28, 1972. They were responding to transport a critically injured patient from Dorchester General to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma in Baltimore when their helicopter crashed while the pilot was attempting to land in heavy fog. Noyle was 28 and Russ was 25.

· Trooper 1st Class Donald E. Parkerson Jr. and Trooper 1st Class Charles S. Rathell died Sept. 18, 1973. They were on traffic patrol when the helicopter experienced engine failure and crashed while they were attempting an emergency landing in Beltsville, Md. Parkerson was 25 and Rathell was 27.

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· Cpl. Gregory A. May and Trooper 1st Class Carey S. Poetzman died Jan. 19, 1986. After transporting a shooting victim from Eldersburg, Md., to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center, they encountered severe fog and poor visibility on the way back to Frederick, Md., and the helicopter crashed in West Baltimore.

May, who lived in Hagerstown, was 31. Poetzman, 28, was the first female aviation trauma technician to serve in Aviation Command.

Source: Maryland State Police Aviation Command

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