Jelani Omar Prather funeral services scheduled

Jelani Prather

Funeral services have been set for{ }Jelani Omar Prather, the D.C. police officer killed last week in a traffic crash on I-270.

A visitation and wake is set for Sunday, 6 to 9 p.m., Mt. Calvary Baptist Church, 608 N. Horners Ln., Rockville, Md.

Life Celebration/Funeral Monday, 9 a.m. visitation until 11 a.m. Service, Inter-Denominational Church of God, 19201 Woodfield Rd., Gaithersburg, MD. Interment at Gate of Heaven.

Prather of the Metropolitan Police Department’s Fifth District was off duty on Sept. 16 when Prather’s car slammed into a tanker truck on the shoulder, apparently without braking.

The crash happened shortly after 12:45 p.m. on I-270 just south of the Falls Road exit. Preliminary investigation showed the driver of the tanker truck pulled over to the right shoulder to check an equipment problem, police said in a news release. The driver, Antonio Donnell Lucas of Clinton, Md., got out of the cab to check. When he returned, he saw a Scion XB approaching on the right shoulder.

Lucas stated he put his truck in drive, honked the air horn and tried to drive away to avoid a collision. But the Scion struck the rear of the truck.

Both vehicles sled on the shoulder for about 75'. The Freightliner truck's bumper crashed over the Scion's engine block and into the passenger compartment, killing driver Prather.

Because there were no skid marks on the road, police think Prather may not have hit the brakes before the collision. A witness said that his Scion did not brake or swerve.

Officer Prather was a motorcycle officer on the evening shift. He “was much loved by his colleagues here at 5D as well as those he served in the community,” Commander Andy Solberg said in a note released by police.

Prather joined the MPD in Sept. 2001.

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