Arundel police officer injured in collision

Witness says cruiser had emergency lights on but not siren

2 in other car hurt

October 16, 2002|By Julie Bykowicz | Julie Bykowicz,SUN STAFF

An Anne Arundel County police officer was injured in a crash late Monday as he sped north on Crain Highway to assist another officer, county police said.

Cpl. Edward Kuentzel, a 17-year veteran, injured his chest and rib cage in the accident. He was released from the Maryland Shock Trauma Center yesterday, a hospital spokeswoman said.

The officer's 1999 Ford Crown Victoria collided with a 1996 Honda Accord and then careened into a signal pole at Fifth Avenue and Crain Highway in Glen Burnie just before midnight, police said.

Although the squad car's emergency lights were on, a witness told police that the siren was not, said Officer Charles Ravenell, a county police spokesman.

The officer slowed as he approached a red light at Fifth Avenue, police said, but they cited Kuentzel's "entering the intersection on a red signal" as the reason for the accident.

Maryland motor vehicle code indicates an emergency vehicle does not have the right of way unless its sirens are operating.

The department's operating procedures reiterate that officers are not acting as emergency vehicles when they are not using both their lights and sirens, Ravenell said. In such cases, officers must obey all traffic laws.

Kuentzel, now off duty to recover from the accident, will be investigated by an accident review board, Ravenell said.

The Honda's driver, Aaron Lamar Bannerman, 20, of Cedar Hill Lane in Brooklyn Park, and passenger, Brandon Durell Holmes, 16, of Cedar Hill Lane in Brooklyn Park, were taken to North Arundel Hospital for minor injuries, police said.

Bannerman likely will not face any charges, Ravenell said.

Ravenell asked that drivers be "conscientious when they see emergency vehicles." He advised that drivers pull to the side of the road or move to a safe area whenever possible.

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