From time to time, as Maryland pedestrians, we all run the risk of being injured by a passenger car or commercial truck as a result of an unexpected traffic accident. But few people imagine that they will be injured by a policeman riding in a squad car. Kids are a whole different story, and their actions can result in serious and sometimes fatal injuries.
As a Baltimore and Washington, D.C., personal injury lawyer, I and my staff understand the physical pain and discomfort that can be associated with pedestrian-auto accidents. While nobody expects to be caught up in an accident with a motorcycle, SUV or minivan, fewer people still would picture themselves being hurt by a police car in their own neighborhood. However, this is apparently what happened to one poor child not long ago in North Baltimore.
According to news accounts, little Alvin Williams had his right leg broken when it was apparently run over by a Baltimore patrol car in July. The freak accident meant the 5-year-old boy would have to spend the balance of the summer with his leg in a cast, rather than playing with his friends. He likely suffered other injuries such as cuts and bruises during the accident.
Based on reports, the boy was playing with neighbors on a hot Tuesday evening when he reportedly ran across Sheridan Avenue as he followed another neighborhood kid. Police said that the youngster darted from between two parked cars and was subsequently hit by a police cruiser that had just turned off York Road. The department said that the officer did not see the child until it was too late.
The accident report shows that Alvin fell to the pavement after hitting the rear quarter panel of the police car cruiser, after which the vehicles back tire ran over the boy’s leg. According to witnesses, Alvin hit the front of the vehicle, fell down and was then run over by the cop’s front tire. While police claim the cruiser was traveling slowly, the boy’s grandfather said that the patrol car was “going at a good speed.” The grandfather also claims that the officer was distracted because he was looking for another person in the area.
This accident is just one of several that the Baltimore Police Department has had to deal with recently. Previous to the Williams boy being hurt, two separate police chases resulted in local fatalities. In one instance, a female driver was killed when her car was struck by another vehicle being pursued by officers. A second fatality involved a motorcycle rider who died while being chased from Baltimore to Cockeysville. The patrolman involved in that accident was suspended after he reportedly ignored orders to terminate the chase.
Police commander apologizes to boy who was run over, BaltimoreSun.com, July 7, 2010