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Maryland State Police Trooper Shaft S. Hunter, who died in the line of duty in Howard County nearly a year ago, will be honored at a ceremony Friday, May 11.

The ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. at the police's Waterloo barracks, 7777 Washington Blvd., Jessup.

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Hunter died May 21, 2011, after his vehicle crashed at about 2:40 a.m. into a tractor-trailer parked on the shoulder of Interstate 95, near the highway's intersection with Route 32. He was thought to be pursuing a speeding motorcyclist at the time.

Hunter, who was 39 and a father of six, had been with the state police since 2000. He lived in Baltimore County.

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He had come to the force after serving honorably in the Marines, and upon arriving began to distinguish himself both at the police academy and, later, at the Waterloo Barracks, according to State Police Lt. Daniel Truitt.

Among some of his most notable moments, Truitt said, was a crash in which Hunter rescued a driver whose vehicle had gone into a ravine and aided a fellow trooper who had fallen about 50 feet into the embankment while responding to the scene.

At the time of his death, Hunter also was working on a case that began with a local theft but soon turned into an investigation into a theft ring both around and outside of Maryland. After Hunter died, another investigator was able to make arrests in the case, Truitt said.

Hunter "would grab ahold of something, and he would work tirelessly to ensure that every lead was looked into and followed through. He put cases together, whether it was while he was working, and he even devoted off-duty time to ensure that these investigations were carried through," Truitt said.

"As devoted as he was to the Maryland State Police, he was equally or more devoted to his family," he said. "It was the total package of who he was and what he lived for."

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