Baltimore police cruiser crash sends 4 to hospitals

A Baltimore police officer responding to an emergency call was involved in a rush hour accident on North Avenue that sent three people and the officer to local hospitals.

The officer was driving through the intersection of North Avenue and North Charles Street at about 5 p.m. and collided with a civilian car, sending it spinning up onto a sidewalk near a vacant lot next to the Wind-Up Space bar and arts venue. It spun around and came to rest facing in the opposite direction.

The unidentified officer and the other driver suffered minor injuries, police said. The injuries to the pedestrians were described only as non-life-threatening.

North and Charles were both shut down for more than an hour as crash team investigators examined the scene.

Witnesses at the crowded intersection claimed that they saw the officer driving through a red light when the collision occurred. Police spokesman Jeremy Silbert said the agency was investigating the circumstances of the crash.

Nickisha Edwards-Hudnall, 35, said the crash caused a loud “boom,” and she saw the pedestrians hit the ground. Andre Jacobs, 18, estimated the officer was driving 45 miles an hour. “She never stopped,” Jacobs said.

After the crash, the officer “jumped out and was shaking her hand, and she ran to the lady” on the ground, said Ronald Jeffries. “She did provide assistance; she tried.” Edwards-Hudnall said one of the pedestrian victims appeared to have suffered significant leg injuries.

It was not clear what call the officer was responding to at the time of the crash, but a “Signal 13” for an officer in distress had gone out over the radio moments before regarding an incident in the 500 block of W. Hoffman St.

Through its Twitter account, the Fraternal Order of Police warned against a rush to judgment regarding who was at fault in the accident. “Our officers spend all day in cruisers & race from call to call. Let the investigation take place before making assumptions,” union president Robert F. Cherry wrote.