The Maryland State trooper who suffered a traumatic brain injury when she was hit by a car in October spoke to the media Tuesday to thank the public for supporting her recovery – even the people she has ticketed.
Trooper Jacqueline Kline received support from family, friends and strangers after she was hit while helping another trooper on a Route 100 traffic stop. About 800 people took part in a November 5K run to raise money for her medical expenses. She even received cards and well wishes from people she had issued tickets to in the past, she told reporters.
"I couldn't have done it without everybody's help," Kline said. "Everybody's been so generous and helpful."
Guzman Jr., 21, of Pasadena, was issued two traffic citations Feb. 4 for
his involvement in the crash that hurt Kline: a violation of Maryland’s
"move over" law, which carries a fine of $750; and negligent
driving, which carries a fine of $280. traffic crash.
Guzman is charged in connection with an Oct. 6 crash on eastbound Route 100 before the Catherine Avenue exit. Kline, assigned to the Glen Burnie Barrack, had just stopped on the shoulder of the highway to back up a K-9 trooper on a traffic stop. Investigators believe that as Kline walked along the highway shoulder toward the patrol car in front of her, the car allegedly driven by Guzman struck her.
Kline was thrown onto the hood of Guzman’s 2007 Nissan Versa, then propelled into the back of the State Police K-9 car, where she struck the back windshield and metal K-9 cage inside the car.
Kline, 26, was hospitalized for several weeks, and remains under a doctor’s care as she recovers. About a month ago she returned to light duty.
Kline says she remembers nothing about the crash. "I was completely knocked out."
Kline says she became a state trooper to follow in the footsteps of her stepfather, a trooper in New Jersey, according to The Baltimore Sun. When she was still in a neck brace in the hospital, she asked doctors when she could get back to work.
"I'm a very hyper person as it is, very motivated," she said.
Trooper Justin Fohs, the officer Kline assisted in October when she was hit, credited Kline's personality for her recovery.
"She's a fighter," Fohs said. "She kept herself going."
Although she has been cleared to drive a patrol car again, Kline says she is not sure when she will be ready to return to the road. The brain injury has caused her to be forgetful, the newspaper says.
Kline says she believes she's been given a second chance in life — and that's inspired her to help others and make them happy.
"I want to do everything right," she told reporters. "I feel like I'm here for a reason."