For the second time in a week, a Howard County police cruiser was struck by a drunk driver, with the latest incident resulting in minor injuries to the officer after a hit-and-run.
Police Officer First Class Antonio Thomas was traveling southbound on Washington Boulevard in Laurel at approximately 10:37 p.m. on Friday, March 6 when the driver of a dark-colored car attempted to make a left-hand turn across southbound lanes and struck the cruiser, police said.
Thomas, a nine-year-veteran, was taken to Howard County General Hospital, where he was treated and released.
The patrol car was severely damaged, police said.
The crash came seven days after a Howard County police cruiser parked on the shoulder of Route 108 was struck by a drunk driver on Feb. 28. At the time, the officer was conducting a field sobriety test for another drunk driving incident and was not in the car when it was hit.
After Friday's collision, the driver fled southbound on Washington Boulevard. The car was found behind a Super 8 Motel in the 9900 block, and the driver was identified as Jason Nathaniel Marks, 31, of Temple Hills, police said.
He was charged with driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident, as well as multiple traffic violations, police said