Officer Kristin M. Pataki, 24, of Montgomery County, Maryland died on May 4, 2002 while responding to a call for backup when her squad car slid sideways off the road and broadsided a tree. She is the first member of the Maryland-National Capital Park Police to die in the line of duty in almost 50 years.
The accident occured in the 24800 block of Clarksburg Road (Route 121) en route to the golf course in Little Bennett Regional Park around 10 p.m. Weather conditions at the time caused low visibility and slippery pavement. Pataki was killed instantly on impact.
Pataki was born in New Jersey and joined the Park Police in 2000. She graduated from the police academy on September 13, 2001. She is survived by family including her father and fiance.
On May 7, 2002, Maryland Governor Parris Glendening ordered the Maryland State Flag to flown at half staff until sunset of interment in her honor.