Man fatally struck by 2 Secret Service vehicles in Md.

By Paul Duggan and Debbi Wilgoren
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, November 12, 2009

Two armored U.S. Secret Service vehicles, including a limousine sometimes used by Vice President Biden, struck and killed a man hours before dawn Wednesday as he was crossing rain-slicked Suitland Parkway near the District-Maryland border, authorities said.

The pedestrian, whose name was withheld by police pending notification of his next of kin, was struck by the limousine and a Chevrolet Suburban at 2:27 a.m. at Naylor Road, just over the District line in Prince George's County, according to the Secret Service and U.S. Park Police.

The two vehicles, each driven by a Secret Service employee, had just arrived by military plane at Andrews Air Force Base and were being taken to a storage facility in the District, said Agent Malcolm Wiley, a Secret Service spokesman. He said they were not carrying any "protectees."

Biden had used the limousine Tuesday during a visit to Fort Lewis, Wash., and the Suburban had also been part of the vice president's motorcade during the trip, Wiley said.

Wiley declined to identify the drivers or specify their jobs with the agency, describing them only as Secret Service employees trained to drive such vehicles.

Because of their heavy armor, the limousine and Suburban are trickier to handle than ordinary vehicles, Wiley said. He said that both drivers had completed the agency's "protective operator's driving course," which is required before an employee is allowed behind the wheel of an armored vehicle.

Sgt. David Schlosser, a Park Police spokesman, said that both vehicles struck the pedestrian as he was crossing the parkway at an intersection controlled by traffic lights. It was unclear how fast the vehicles were moving or whether the man was crossing the road legally, Schlosser said.

He said an investigation overseen by Park Police will include an autopsy and toxicology tests to determine whether the man had consumed drugs or alcohol before the incident. He was pronounced dead at Prince George's Hospital Center, Schlosser said.

Wiley said the limousine and Suburban are part of a District-based fleet of vehicles used by the vice president.

He said they were among several vehicles recently transported to Washington state, where Biden attended a memorial service Tuesday for seven Fort Lewis soldiers killed Oct. 27 in Afghanistan.

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