A Prince George's County police officer and the prisoner he was transporting were injured early yesterday after the officer drove through a flashing red light at Eastern Avenue and Sheriff Road NE and the car collided with a Giant Food Inc. tractor-trailer truck, according to District police.
District police spokeswoman Shannon Cockett said Officer William Reamez Jr., 30, "was not using his emergency equipment" at the time of the accident and speed was not a factor in the collision. She said the tractor-trailer truck had the right of way.
The police said they are still investigating the crash and no charges have been filed. The prisoner was riding in the front passenger seat.
Reamez, a five-year member of the Prince George's County police department, received multiple fractures and internal injuries and was taken to Prince George's General Hospital. A hospital spokesman said yesterday afternoon that Reamez was in critical condition in the intensive care unit.
The prisoner, whose identification has not been released, was in stable condition at Prince George's General, according to Cockett. The driver of the truck, James Bushrod, 52, was not injured.
According to Cockett, the accident occurred about 4:45 a.m. while Reamez was transporting the prisoner from Prince George's General Hospital back to the county police station in Seat Pleasant.
Police spokesman Bruce Gentile, said the prisoner had been arrested hours before the accident and had become involved in an altercation with several police officers. Reamez had taken the prisoner to the hospital to be treated for injuries received during a scuffle with police. Prince George's police would not describe the injuries in detail.
Reamez was traveling southeast on Eastern Avenue and Bushrod was traveling southwest on Sheriff Road when they collided, according to Cockett.
Reamez and his passenger were trapped in the wreckage for more than an hour, according to police.
Cockett said that the prisoner was riding in the front passenger seat because Prince George's County police do not have vehicles with protective grates. The barriers are often used by police to keep prisoners from jeopardizing the driving officer, according to Cockett and Gentile.
Gentile said that county police have had a few problems in the past with prisoners being transported in the front seat causing disruptions, "but never anything this serious."