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Reckless driving among charges faced by Maryland police officer

An alleged illegal U-turn attempted by a Maryland police office on the second weekend of June has resulted in a series of charges being filed. In addition to reckless driving, the attempted U-turn's subsequent collision with another vehicle has resulted in the 28-year-old fourth-year police officer facing assault charges. The Howard County officer was on-duty when the collision occurred and has remained assigned to administrative work since then.

Two of the passengers in the other vehicle were hospitalized after the crash, both of them children. They have since been released from the hospital after having initially been listed in critical condition. The other vehicle's driver and an additional adult passenger sustained minor injuries.

When the incident first occurred, police initially stated that the cause of the crash was driver error. According to the police accident report, the on-duty officer was on Route 100 heading eastbound about 11 miles away from the county line in neighboring Anne Arundel County. The report states that the officer attempted the U-Turn to access the westbound Route 100 lane and by doing so purportedly drove his police vehicle into an oncoming vehicle which was heading southbound on another road which merges into the highway at that point. No further comments have been provided by authorities from either county other than stating that the issue remains an ongoing case.

In addition to the charge of reckless driving, the police officer is facing assault charges as a result of the collision. The assault charges are serious enough to warrant potentially severe penalties should a conviction ultimately be secured. Maryland prosecutors are, however, required to first present competent and relevant evidence that must meet a stringent burden of proof before any conviction is possible and the defense may be able to present further information that can cast doubt on the validity of the assault charges.

Source: The Baltimore Sun, Howard officer charged in crash that injured two children, Luke Lavoie, Aug. 16, 2013

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