An on-duty Howard County police officer attempting to make an illegal U-turn in a police vehicle struck another car, injuring two children Saturday, Anne Arundel County police said.
Symchay Kon Bendu, a four-year veteran with the Howard County police, was attempting a U-turn onto Route 100 west, near Route 10 south, when the police vehicle struck a 2005 Honda Civic, driven by Jamie Marie Butler, 31, of Brooklyn, police said.
The officer slowed down and made an illegal U-turn directly into the path of the Honda, which was traveling in the fast lane of Route 10 south at about 4:15 p.m., police said.
Two girls, ages 11 and 4, riding in the Honda were severely injured and taken to Johns Hopkins Children's Center for treatment, police said. The driver was taken to Johns Hopkins Medical Center for non life-threatening injuries.
The officer was not familiar with the area and was attempting to return to Howard County, police said, and they identified driver error as a contributing factor in this crash.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the two children who were seriously injured in a collision today involving a Howard County police officer in Anne Arundel County. As a parent, my heart goes out to their parents and family," Howard County Police Chief William McMahon said in a statement. "I am confident that the Anne Arundel County Police Department will conduct a thorough investigation of all of the circumstances of the collision. I have been in touch with Acting Police Chief [Pam] Davis and we are doing all we can to cooperate with investigators and provide any information and assistance they need. Because this is an active case, I am unable to comment further on the details of the incident at this time."
The Howard County Police Department said it will also conduct an internal investigation into the crash.
Any witnesses to the crash are asked to call Anne Arundel police at 410-222-8610 or the Traffic Safety Section at 410-222-8573.