An effort by law enforcement, fire, and rescue personnel is underway to remember those killed aboard a Maryland State Police helicopter that crashed on one of the darkest nights of the state’s public safety history.
The Trooper 2 Memorial Fund has been initiated to establish a memorial to the crew and one of the patients on-board who died in the 2008 crash. The memorial will be placed at the entrance to the walking trail that leads to the crash location in Walker Mill Park in District Heights, Md. A second marker will be placed at the actual crash site.
On September 27, 2008, Trooper 2 responded from its hangar at Andrews Air Force Base to Waldorf, to assist the Waldorf Volunteer Fire Department with the medevac of two car crash victims. Because two victims were being transported, a second medical provider was needed and an emergency medical technician from the fire department joined the State Police helicopter crew for the flight to the trauma center.
Trooper 2 encountered poor weather while enroute to the trauma center and attempted to land at Andrews, but crashed while on approach to the airport. Maryland State Police Pilot Stephen Bunker and flight paramedic Trooper First Class Mickey Lippy, Waldorf Volunteer Fire Department EMT Tonya Mallard, and patient Ashley Younger, were killed in the crash. The second patient, Jordan Wells, was critically injured, but survived.
Soon after the crash, a group of concerned supporters began efforts to establish a memorial to those who died. The committee includes University of Maryland Police Chief David Mitchell, who is also a former Superintendent of the Maryland State Police, Major (Ret) Mark Gibbons, former Commander of the Maryland State Police Aviation Command, Major Frank Lioi, current Commander of the Aviation Command, Maryland State Police Captain Bill Dofflemyer, who is also Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Waldorf Volunteer Fire Department, Mr. Lou Ramer, a member of the Board of Directors of the Waldorf Volunteer Fire Department, and Mr. John Mullican, the memorial artist.
“It is important that we do this because the sacrifice of these public servants must not be forgotten,” Major Frank Lioi said. “This memorial will be an appropriate reminder to all who see it of the dedicated public servants who gave their lives in service to others, as well as the patient who died while in their care. We must honor their memory and their sacrifice, while reminding their families that they will always be remembered.”
The Trooper 2 Memorial Fund has been established through the Waldorf Volunteer Fire Department to raise the $45,000 needed to build the memorial and marker. The funds need to be raised by July 1st in order to have the memorial and marker in place by September 27th. Donations are tax deductible. Donations may be sent to:
The Waldorf Volunteer Fire Department
Trooper 2 Memorial Fund
3245 Old Washington Rd.
Waldorf, MD 20602
Donations may also be made on line at: http://www.waldorfvfd.com.
The committee hopes to have the donations raised and the memorial erected in time for a memorial ceremony and dedication event. The ceremony is planned for September 27, 2015, the seventh anniversary of that tragic night.