A 3-week-old baby was killed in a car accident yesterday afternoon while resting unrestrained in the lap of a passenger, Prince George's County police said.

The child, Bruce Elliot Morgan Murrell II, died of head injuries when he was thrown against the dashboard and windshield after the car in which he was riding was struck by an oncoming car in Beltsville.

The accident, which occurred at 4:25 p.m. at 12400 Old Gunpowder Rd., injured three others.

Police said the accident occurred when a northbound car operated by Pauline Ann Chilcoate, 21, of Laurel swerved out of control after failing to negotiate a curve. Chilcoate's car spun into the southbound lane, broadsiding the car in which the child was riding.

The baby's mother, Brenda Lee Lancaster, 22, of Silver Spring, was driving while Valerie Jackson, 25, of Silver Spring, was holding the baby and feeding him his bottle.

Lancaster and Jackson were treated at Greater Laurel Hospital. Chilcoate was treated at Prince George's Hospital. The police were unable to say whether the three women were wearing seat belts or provide the extent of their injuries.

An investigation into the crash is continuing, police said.