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Officer hits car during chase woman badly hurt


A Baltimore police car chasing a motorcycle the wrong way on a one-way street in the Pimlico area yesterday morning crashed into another car and critically injured one of its passengers, police reported.

A traffic investigator said last night that the police car's driver, Officer Charles L. Koonce Jr., 27, of the Northwestern District, had not yet been asked why he was chasing a motorcyclist south on Beaufort Avenue. His police cruiser struck a Buick Skyhawk crossing Beaufort on Garrison Avenue.

The motorcyclist got away, police said.

A front-seat passenger in the Buick, Shirley Wilson, 35, of the 4100 block of Ridgewood Avenue, suffered severe head injuries and a possible broken neck in the accident. She was taken to Sinai Hospital and later transferred to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where she was listed in critical but stable condition last night.

The Buick's driver, Henry Cureton Jr., 37, of the 3900 block of Boarman Avenue, who complained of head, shoulder, hip and knee pain, was treated at Sinai Hospital and released.

A back-seat passenger in the Buick, Yolanda M. McNeill, 17, of the 4100 block of Penhurst Avenue, was treated at Sinai for a cut on her right hand. She complained of head and chest pain before her release from the hospital.

Officer Koonce was treated at Sinai for a cut right eye and complaints of head and neck pain.

His trip to the hospital was one of the reasons the traffic investigator assigned to the case had not yet been able to question the police car's driver about the accident, said Officer Joseph Johnson of the traffic investigation section.

By the time Officer Koonce was released from the hospital, the investigator was off-duty, Officer Johnson said, adding that a number of questions would probably be asked today.

"There are charges pending, but I don't know who the charges are pending against," Officer Johnson said.

Charges are pending against Mr. Cureton for driving an unregistered vehicle with license plates belonging to another car, Officer Johnson said.

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