Sixteen persons were injured yesterday, at least three seriously, when a utility vehicle collided with a van carrying 14 day laborers at the interchange of I-95 and Rte. 175 in Howard County, Maryland state police said.

Police said several occupants were thrown from the van when it was hit broadside by the four-wheel-drive vehicle. Police said the van apparently had the right of way, but that their investigation was continuing.

The van is owned by Tracy Labor Co., a manpower and temporary help firm. The accident was the third in two years involving the company's vans.

On June 9, one man was killed and a dozen injured when a Tracy Labor van collided head-on with a dump truck near Herndon in Fairfax County. Police said the van's driver, who was killed, had crossed the road's center line.

Last August, 18 persons were hospitalized when a Tracy Labor van collided head-on with a car on a rain-slick road in the Franconia area of Fairfax County.

Yesterday's incident occurred just after 5 p.m., state police said. A Ford Bronco II truck, driven by Thomas Bernard Soeder, 40, of Randallstown, Md., was leaving the northbound lane of I-95 at its interchange with Rte. 175, which is governed by a flashing red light, state police said.

The truck hit the van, which was heading east on Rte. 175 and crossing the intersection through a flashing amber light, police said. The driver of the van was identified as John Robert Jordan, 29, of Baltimore. There were 15 people inside the van, including Jordan, state police said.

Two of the most seriously injured were taken by U.S. Park Police helicopter to the University of Maryland Hospital's shock-trauma unit in Baltimore. A third person was taken by ambulance to that hospital, state police said.

Others who were injured were taken to various hospitals.