Car jumps embankment, hits parked cruiser officer hurt

Sergeant suffers injuries to his back and neck

November 11, 1998|By Del Quentin Wilber | Del Quentin Wilber,SUN STAFF

A Howard County police officer, doing paperwork in his parked squad car, suffered neck and back injuries yesterday morning when his police cruiser was struck by a car that jumped an embankment at a Columbia elementary school.

Sgt. Sid Smith, a 24-year veteran, was taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where he was treated and released after the 10:45 a.m. accident. The driver of the other car, Maria Gueterez, 40, of Columbia was not injured.

Police said Gueterez was driving a Toyota Corolla north on Stevens Forrest Road in Oakland Mills when she lost control.

Her car sped up an embankment, slipped between two large trees, and came crashing down into the southern-most parking lot of Stevens Forrest Elementary School before hitting Smith's cruiser, police said. The impact spun Smith's cruiser around.

"What a freak accident," said Capt. Michael Kessler at the scene. "It's like being struck by lightning."

Charges are pending in the crash, police said.

"It surprised me to see a car go airborne," said Olive Reid, 38, of Columbia, who was driving in the opposite direction when the accident occurred. "Even with my radio on, I could hear the impact."

Pub Date: 11/11/98

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