Motorist dies after collision with driver fleeing officer
A person driving a white Honda Accord was killed after a crash involving the driver of a gray Dodge Charger who was fleeing an attempted police stop and pursuit Wednesday morning, authorities said.
The person who died was the driver of a vehicle that wasn’t involved in the traffic stop in the Upper Marlboro area, Prince George’s County police said.
Police Chief Malik Aziz addressed media near the scene of the crash in a residential neighborhood at White House Road and Pookey Way. Aziz said that about 6:30 a.m., an officer saw two vehicles, a blue one and the gray Charger, commit a traffic violation and attempted to make a traffic stop.
“Those two vehicles attempted to elude the police officer,” Aziz said.
Aziz said the driver in the gray Charger crossed over a double yellow line and crashed into the driver of the Accord. Aziz said the Accord driver was injured in the crash and later died.
The officer activated their emergency equipment at the start of the attempted stop, with one of the drivers who was fleeing police striking the driver of the Accord head-on, according to the Office of the Attorney General’s Independent Investigations Division (IID).
The driver who crashed into the Honda was taken to a hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening and has been arrested, officials said.
The IID is investigating the crash, alongside the Maryland State Police, according to police.
The officer’s in-car camera was on during the incident, and the IID generally releases footage within 14 days of an incident, Thomas Lester, a spokesman for the IID, said in a news release.
The officer has been placed on administrative suspension pending the results of the investigation, Aziz said. The name of an involved officer is generally released within 48 hours of the incident, Lester said.
Christina Cotterman, a spokeswoman with the Prince George’s County Police Department, said in an email that commanders may authorize a pursuit outside policy guidelines, which include violent crimes such as murder and carjacking, “if they can articulate that the potential danger created by the pursuit would be less than the immediate or potential danger to the public if the suspect remains at large.”
“No policy can predict every possible situation an officer could encounter, therefore our officers and supervisors are entrusted to use well-reasoned discretion in determining the appropriate guidance in each incident,” Cotterman said.
Prince George’s County police will conduct an internal investigation upon the conclusion of the IID and MSP investigation, Aziz said.