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Maryland State Trooper still critical after crash on Capital Beltway

A Maryland State trooper remained in critical condition after a crash in Prince George's County, police said Friday.

The trooper was investigating a crash around 2 p.m. Thursday on the slow shoulder of Interstates 95/495, north of Rt. 450, police said. He was inside his unmarked patrol car behind a damaged vehicle and a tow truck when a Mercedes Benz struck the back of the patrol car, pushing into the vehicle in front of it, according to a preliminary investigation. Another tow truck struck the Mercedes, pushing it into the driver's side of the patrol car, trapping the trooper, police said.

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The fire department extricated the trooper from the car, and he was flown to University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

The trooper, identified by police as 26-year-old Ezra Ganeshananda, is a member of the College Park barrack. He joined the force in January 2015.

The driver of the car that struck the trooper was identified as Prasad Yadavalli, 60, of Galloway Township, New Jersey. He was being treated at Prince George's Hospital.

Before hitting the patrol car, the Mercedes had struck three vehicles and was driving on the fast shoulder, police said. The Mercedes then traveled across the interstate onto the slow shoulder where he continued to drive before striking the patrol car, police said. No one else was injured.

The Maryland State Police Crash Team is investigating. Charges are pending, police said.

Ganeshananda's brother, also a Maryland state trooper, other family and fellow troopers were all at the hospital, police said.

Gov. Larry Hogan offered his prayers via his Facebook page.

This breaking news story will be updated.

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