Maryland State Trooper Shaft Hunter was killed when his police cruiser crashed into a tractor-trailer while pursuing a motorcycle on I-95 in Howard County.

Hunter, 39, was killed at 2:40 a.m. Saturday. The 11-year veteran of the state police had not radioed the barrack prior to the crash, which would not be unusual during the initial moments of a vehicle stop, according to a state police statement.

Hunter, who was born in Bridgeport, Conn., earned a criminal justice degree from St. Augustine College in Raleigh, N.C. After college, he served in the Marine Corps from 1994 to 2000, and honorably discharged at the rank of captain.

He joined the state police, after graduating from the academy in June 2000. He was initially assigned to the Waterloo Barrack, where he was assigned on Saturday.

Trooper Hunter leaves behind six children. Trooper Hunter's death came at the end of National Police Week, which honored more than 19,000 documented officers killed in the line of duty.

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