From the Sun:
A Maryland state trooper first encountered the driver on southbound Interstate 83 about 2 p.m.Here's the part that gets me:
"The black Acura was about a block in front of them. He hesitated at the corner of Saratoga and Holliday. And he takes off as fast as he can at about at least 60 or 70 mph. He tries to negotiate the turn. He didn't make it. He slammed on the brakes and lost control of the car.... The guy had his back turned. He didn't see him coming," [the witness] continued, referring to Hersl. "He hit the guy, knocked him up in the air, hit the tree and turned over."
"Police emphasized that the trooper had not been chasing the suspect in the black 2000 Acura TL.Let me assure you that's a lie. [Though the "at that point in time" gives him a bit of wiggle room. I suspect the "chase," if it ever happened, ended right about the time the car accelerated and smashed into and killed Hersl.]
The agency has a number of safety factors it considers before initiating a pursuit. "Let me assure you, there wasn't a pursuit at that point in time," Black said.
So you're a cop and a car speeds by... what do you do? Departmental rules don't allow you to chase a suspect, but you can "follow" one (obeying all speed limits and traffic regulations, of course). You're not supposed to get involved in car chases, but you do. Why? Because they're fun. (And besides, you don't want to bastard to get away.)
Luckily the time I chased a car nobody got hurt. And it wasn't called off by my sergeant because my suspect drove from the Eastern to the Southeast and I switched to the S.E. District's radio channel. I thought I was very clever.
But what if the car I was "following" killed somebody, perhaps while driving the wrong way down a one-way street? How would I sleep at night?
The reason police are not allowed to chase suspects in the city is because almost inevitably, chases end in a crash. The only real question is what is going to be crashed into. Too often it's somebody like Karen Schmeer or Matthew Hersl, a good person just going about their day.
My sincere condolences to Dan and the entire Hersl family.