Related topics

Officer Escorting Kennedy Family to RFK Service Struck by Hit-Run Driver With AM-Kennedy

June 7, 1988

Officer Escorting Kennedy Family to RFK Service Struck by Hit-Run Driver With AM-Kennedy Remembrance

LANGLEY, Va. (AP) _ A U.S. Park Police officer escorting the Kennedy family Monday to a memorial service for Robert F. Kennedy was struck and critically injured by a speeding driver, officials said.

Sgt. Paul Johnson, 37, was taken by helicopter to Fairfax Hospital following the 6:30 p.m. accident, in which he suffered a fractured skull, said U.S. Park Police spokeswoman Sandra Alley.

Johnson had stopped traffic on the roadway for the Kennedy motorcade near the CIA headquarters in angley, a suburb of Washington, D.C., said Fairfax County police Officer Pete Kirby.

William E. Ferro, of Bethesda, Md., was standing next to Johnson when a speeding motorist skidded into them, said Debbie Godwin, spokeswoman for Fairfax County police.

None of the Kennedy family members was injured, Kirby said.

Paul D. Addington, 18, of McLean, Va., was speeding when he came over the crest of a hill, hit his brakes and skidded into the two police motorcycles, said Godwin. The collision threw Johnson’s motorcycle against him, Godwin said.

Ferro received minor scratches and bruises, Godwin said.

Police originally reported that Addington had tried to flee the scene, but Godwin later said the teenager remained and was arrested at the scene.

The police spokeswoman said Addington was charged with reckless driving.

Johnson is a 12-year veteran of the force who lives in Arlington, Va. He remained in the intensive care unit Tuesday.

About 5,000 people attended the memorial service at Kennedy’s grave in Arlington National Cemetery. The ceremony marked the 20th anniversary of his assassination.

Robert Kennedy Jr. informed the audience at the memorial service about the accident and asked for a moment of silence to pray for the officer and his family.

Update hourly