BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It was a chaotic scene on I-83 after a car loses control, strikes a police officer and sends her careening over an embankment.

Kelly McPherson has the latest on the officer’s current condition and reaction from those who know her.

Interstate 83 shut down after an astonishing accident that caused a police officer to fall over a jersey wall 25 feet below to the pavement.

The officer, identified as Teresa Rigby, 27, was on the side of the highway trying to help a disabled car.  That’s when officials say the driver of a Saab heading north rear-ended the police officer’s car, causing it to slam into the disabled car which then struck Rigby, sending her plummeting over the jersey wall.

“She was arousable but not awake.  She is currently on full life support,” said Dr. Thomas Scalea, Shock Trauma. “She is in critical condition.”

Rigby, a 3.5 year veteran, patrols the Northern district.

Her neighbors wait for good news.

“God was with her that she even survived it,” said her neighbor, Kiera Henry.  “She was nice, pleasant, always smiling.”

Three other people also suffered injuries, including the driver of the car that rear-ended the police car.  The disabled car’s driver was injured because she was sitting in her vehicle when it was struck by the police car.  A tow truck driver who was standing next to the police officer was struck by the disabled car, as well, but he did not go flying over the jersey wall. 

“We’re extremely optimistic.  She’s getting the best care in the world and a lot of people are here to pray for her and support her,” said Commissioner Fred Bealefeld.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake visited the hospital, where she said Rigby has family by her side.

“Her mother is remarkably calm but also grateful because she knows how much worse this could have been,” Rawlings-Blake said.

Accident investigators are reviewing the case and deciding whether any criminal charges will be filed.

Rigby will undergo at least one surgery.  It’s not known exactly when that will take place.

Video From Sky Eye Chopper 13:   

Stay with WJZ.COM for the latest on this developing story.

Comments (17)
  1. Jeff says:

    Please people. Pay attention while your driving. This happens all the time. A lot of broken down cars on the shoulders including police cruisers on the shoulder helping get hit all over the country. If your paying attention to what’s in front of you, then you shouldn’t hit a car on the shoulder, espicially a police cruiser.

    1. tate says:

      You’re not your.

  2. Julz says:

    I passed by this today….im guessing right before this happened, i seen them all pulled over guess it happened soon after i passed by there, crazy! People really need to pay attention, thats just ridiculous i sware sum people do not need to be driving how dumb can u be. Hope everyone is okay….20 feet is a long hard fall smh hope she is okay.

  3. nightwalker says:

    Folk please stop driving so fast. That to me was something that should not have a happened. That lane is not the fast lane so why would any one be driving that fast. When you see a car or police car on the shoulder slow down please. That officer was one of my own and once family no matter how related it’s a hurting feeling. My prayers go out too the officer. I hope the office recover. This is really heart breaking.

  4. John Kinney Jr says:

    I wonder was texting or talking on the cell phone a contributing factor

      1. Laureal says:

        and it could just simply be an accident….sheesh.

  5. Trudy says:

    Wow…..that is crazy! People need to pay attention to the road and stop rubber-necking. The police should not have to worry about being hit on the side of the road either helping someone or issuing a ticket. So sad.

  6. Betsy says:

    The highway at that point has so many turns and twists that it can be difficult to navigate, esp. on a rainy day. The speed limit should be reduced in that area. And, drivers, please: NO TEXTING or talking on your $%# cell phone! Realize how dangerous that stretch of road is.

  7. lynn says:

    my prayers go out to her and family

  8. petfriend says:

    why doesn’t WJZ bother to remove comments that are just ignorant and not relavant to the story? Just disgusting. God Bless the police officer who was injured so severely. God help those who can’t think of anything better to do than shoot slurs and racist commentary at one another instead of caring that someone is in critical condition.

  9. A Voice says:

    My thoughts and hopes for a speedy recovery to all the victims in this crash, especially the officer. What a horrible accident!

  10. 1st Responder says:

    @Laurel, this is NOT just an accident (sheesh). This is a tragedy caused by an idiot who was DRIVING WAAAYY TOO FAST FOR THE ROAD CONDITIONS AND FOR HIS ABILITIES. If you look at the video, MAYBE you’ll notice the damage to the striking (that’s the vehicle that started the chain reaction), which is the Saab, you might notice all the damage to it is in the rear. Meaning, and listen closely because you’re about to gain some knowledge, he was driving too fast, on a wet road, around a curve, lost control, overreacted and didn’t possess the skill to stop his vehicle. The BACK of the Sabb struck the BACK of the first vehicle, meaning he had his brakes locked, meaning, he was NOT in control of his car. Because of his inexperience and STUPIDITY, a police officer is fighting for her life. A police officer I worked with. Who knows what he was doing inside the car prior to taking on that curve. What my 23 years of Baltimore City Police experience CAN tell you is, skid marks talk, vehicle computers talk and cellphone records talk. Had he hit the other vehicle with the front of his, and had an analog speedometer, it would’ve talked. So, sheesh, it’s NOT JUST AN ACCIDENT, it’s a tragedy caused by someone’s failure to act responsibly.

  11. C says:

    This is a very dangerous area of highway, and something has to be done about it. The turn is way too sharp, and there’s too many turns so close together. Regardless of the experience, ability, or attention of the driver, accidents happen, especially in this area. I had an accident in this exact spot a year and a half ago and an officer stopped to help me, something like this could have happened to him. It’s awful. I hope all have a speedy recovery, she is lucky to be alive.

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