Rockville, MD – Deputy Chief State Fire Marshal Sander Cohen, 33, was killed on Friday night, Dec. 8, when he was struck by a vehicle.
A second officer, FBI Special Agent Carlos Wolff, was also killed.
The incident occurred about 10 p.m. on southbound Interstate 270 between Falls Road and Montrose Road in the Rockville area in Montgomery County.
Police said that Deputy Chief Cohen was off duty when he stopped to assist the driver of a single-vehicle crash.
He contacted Maryland State Police and asked for assistance for the crash, which occurred in the high-speed lane on I-270, north of Gude Drive.
Deputy Chief Cohen located the driver of the vehicle which had crashed, FBI Supervisory Special Agent Carlos Wolff, who was also off-duty.
Deputy Chief Cohen then used his personal car to block oncoming traffic, and turned on his flashers.
WTTG reported that Deputy Chief Cohen and SSA Wolff moved their vehicles to the shoulder of the fast lane and were standing nearby when an oncoming vehicle traveling southbound swerved to the left and struck both men.
The Honda Accord struck both officers and threw them over the jersey wall into oncoming northbound traffic.
At least one officer was struck by an oncoming car. Deputy Chief Cohen was pronounced dead at the scene, and SSA Wolff was transported to Suburban Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Because Deputy Chief Cohen was acting in an official capacity at the time of he was killed, his death is being considered a line of duty death.
In a Facebook post, the Office of the Maryland State Fire Marshal said:
“It is with a heavy heart that Colonel William Pallozzi, State Fire Marshal Brian Geraci and the entire family of the Office of the State Fire Marshal regretfully announces that last night, at approximately 10 p.m., Deputy Chief Sander B. Cohen (33), was struck and killed on I-270 in Montgomery County while attempting to assist FBI Agent Carlos Wolff who was involved in a single vehicle accident.
Deputy Chief Cohen was off-duty and assisting Agent Wolff at the time of the accident. Both Deputy Chief Cohen and Agent Wolff were struck and killed. Deputy Chief Cohen was promoted to Deputy Chief in January 2017 and was Regional Commander of the Northeast Regional Office consisting of Carroll, Harford and Cecil counties.
Sander was an active member and a Lieutenant with Rockville Volunteer Fire Department, Station 33. We ask that you keep Deputy Chief Cohen’s family in your thoughts and prayers as well as our law enforcement and first responders community.”
Deputy Chief Cohen was a Maryland State Fire Marshal, which is an agency with the Maryland Department of State Police. He was also a lieutenant for the Rockville Volunteer Fire Department.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Deputy Chief Sander Cohen, both blood and blue. Godspeed, sir, we will take the watch from here. Thank you for your service.