The loss of Maryland Deputy Chief State FM Sander Cohen, who was also a Lieutenant with Montgomery County’s Rockville VFD, is being classified as a full Line of Duty Death (LODD) by the Maryland State Police, RVFD, and Montgomery County Fire Rescue Service.
Deputy Chief State Fire Marshal Sander Cohen, 33, called the Rockville barrack of MSP around 2200 hours to report a single-vehicle crash in the fast lane of southbound I-270. Cohen blocked the crash scene with his personal vehicle and activated his emergency flashers. The driver of the damaged car was FBI Supervisory Special Agent Carlos Wolff, 36. Both men moved away from the vehicles, to stand in the shoulder while waiting for assistance to arrive.
As they were standing by, an oncoming car swerved to the left, apparently to avoid the stopped vehicles, and struck both men who were on that shoulder of the highway. Both men were thrown over the jersey wall onto the northbound side of I-270, where at least one of them was struck by another car. Deputy Chief Cohen was pronounced dead at the scene. SSA Wolff was taken to Suburban Hospital, where he died. The driver and a passenger inside the vehicle that first struck the men were taken to Suburban Hospital. Another passenger was taken to Shady Grove Hospital.
Deputy Chief Cohen had no idea who was inside the vehicle he stopped behind….he just recognized that someone needed help and he never hesitated last night to stop and help someone in need. Deputy Chief Cohen was a decorated fire marshal and fire officer who had been repeatedly acknowledged for outstanding service….he was highly praised by Col. William Pallozzi, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police. Deputy Chief Cohen was off duty at the time of the crash, however Pallozzi said his death would be considered “a line of duty death.”
“The actions he took to preserve life and protect property placed him in an official capacity at that time,” Pallozzi said. “The heroes of law enforcement and fire service are on the job every day and every night, on duty or off duty, they’re there to serve.”
Tentative plans are for a full LODD funeral on Wednesday 12/13 or Thursday 12/14. No further details are available at this time but will be shared/posted.
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