Drunk driver hits Montgomery County police cruiser almost one year after Officer Noah Leotta was killed in similar situation

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. -- An off-duty cop was struck by a drunk driver Nov. 19 when he and an assisting officer stopped on the side of the road near a mosque to assist an elderly woman whose car had broken down.

A drunk driver rear-ended the parked cruiser with the assisting officer inside, sending it crashing into the elderly woman's vehicle.  Fire and Rescue responded, but no one on the scene was injured.

The driver, Pedro Vera, 56, was arrested and charged with DUI. Police say he blew a breath test with a BAC of .11, which is just .03 over the Maryland legal limit of .08.

In this case, no one was seriously injured, but Goodale said this narrative was all too familiar.

“We are coming up on the one-year anniversary of Officer Noah Leotta who was struck and killed by a drunk driver in December, almost under the same circumstances,” he told DCW50.

Officer Leotta was conducting a traffic stop when he was struck and killed by a drunk driver.

Goodale said there was only one difference this time, a difference that potentially saved the officer’s life.

“Thankfully this officer was inside the vehicle, so he did have the construction of the vehicle that prevented him from having serious injuries,” Goodale explained.

Police took this opportunity to urge drivers to always find a sober ride home. If you're in DC, there is a holidays sober ride program you can make use of. If not, there are many other programs across the country that can get you home safe without hurting your wallet.