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Officer on motorcycle critically injured while guiding funeral procession

A Baltimore police officer guiding a funeral procession on motorcycle was critically injured in a crash Tuesday afternoon in Baltimore County, police said.

A Baltimore police officer guiding a funeral procession on motorcycle was critically injured in a crash Tuesday afternoon in Baltimore County, police said.

The officer, a 15-year veteran of the city Police Department, was taken to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where he was listed in critical condition, Baltimore County police spokesman John Wachter said. The officer was not identified.

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The officer was guiding the procession for the funeral for city police officer Joseph Tracy, who died off duty last week, city police said. The procession was heading to Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens in Timonium.

The officer was driving north in the 7100 block of Belair Road in Overlea about 1:15 p.m., when a black Jaguar in the opposite lane turned left onto Madeline Avenue, crossing into the motorcycle's path, and the two collided, county police said.

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The force of the crash threw the officer off the motorcycle, into the air and into a mailbox on the sidewalk, two witnesses said.

Donna Waddell and Marty Sprecher, who work at nearby A1 Bill & Earl's Transmissions, said they had come outside to watch the funeral procession just before they witnessed the crash.

A woman driving the Jaguar had been waiting for the procession to pass and tried to turn left through a gap in the cars, Waddell said.

The officer, who had been near the back of the procession, had pulled alongside the cars and was driving to the front to stop traffic at an upcoming intersection, she said.

"He didn't even see her," Waddell said. "It was horrible. It was really horrible."

Tony Brown, a transport and detail employee at Overlea Motors across the street, said he was in a car warming up the engine when he heard the crash.

"I heard a bang. I looked up, and I saw the officer fly in the air," he said.

County police are investigating.

Belair Road was closed between Taylor Avenue and Northern Parkway for hours Tuesday before being reopened.

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