A D.C. police officer died yesterday of injuries suffered Thursday when the car he was driving in southern Fairfax County was in a head-on collision with a car whose driver has been charged with being intoxicated, police officials reported.

Police said Officer Samuel Coombs, 41, of Springfield, was a 12-year veteran of the District force who had been assigned to the harbor unit for the last three years.

Fairfax County police said Coombs was driving his car north on Hooes Road on his way to work about 9:45 p.m. Thursday when a car headed south crossed into the northbound lane and struck Coombs' auto.

Coombs was taken to Commonwealth Hospital where he died yesterday of massive head, chest and abdomen injuries, police said.

A passenger in Coombs' auto, 13-year-old Traci Cisek, a friend of Coombs' daughter, was taken to Commonwealth in good condition, treated for a large laceration on her forehead and released the next day, hospital officials said. Coombs was taking Cisek to her home in Springfield on his way to work, according to police officials.

Fairfax police charged Coy F. McDaniel III, 32, of 8627 Regency Ct., Annandale, with driving while intoxicated.

McDaniel, who was released on bond, is scheduled to appear Feb. 22 in Fairfax County General District Court's traffic division.

Coombs had been a 7th District patrolman and communications dispatcher before joining the harbor police. He lived with his wife, Anita, and two children, Laura and Gavin, according to neighbors.

One area resident, Maureen Bailey, who lives on the street where the accident occurred, said the crash took place at a "sharp curve" in the road.

Bailey, who said she is acquainted with Coombs' wife, said Coombs was driving a "tiny foreign car that he had been working on and working on himself."

Police Officer Ronnie Thompson, who joined the harbor police along with Coombs, recalled that the officer "liked to repair things" and "tinker with cars." Thompson said Coombs was a "concerned, considerate" and dependable officer who was "mostly into his family" off the job.