A Prince George's County man who police said lost control of his car Monday night and plowed onto a busy playground, injuring an 8-year-old boy and his 6-year-old sister, was charged with several traffic offenses yesterday, including reckless driving.
The man, identified by police as Rozelio Herrera Lozano, 27, was released on his own recognizance shortly after being taken into custody by police, said Cpl. Diane Richardson, a Prince George's police spokeswoman. In addition to the charge of reckless driving, Lozano was charged with negligent driving and driving an uninsured vehicle, police said.
The three offenses are misdemeanors punishable by fines totaling as much as $850.
The children, identified by police as Reymundo and Maria Torres, are in serious condition at Children's Hospital, but their injuries are not considered life-threatening, authorities said. They were struck by the car about 8 p.m. Monday when it careened onto a playground at the Oak Ridge Apartments in the 5300 block of 56th Avenue in Riverdale.
Richardson said the accident -- which occurred at the end of the day on which Prince George's public schools opened for the academic year -- left dozens of the bystanders and residents visibly shaken and angry. "It was a scary thing for them to witness," she said. She said investigators do not suspect that alcohol played a part in the accident.
Richardson said Lozano, who lives in the apartment complex, was trying to park in a lot there when he lost control of his red 1990 Acura Legend. She said the car hit a parked vehicle, vaulted a curb and continued toward the playground. She said the car slammed into a slide on which several children were playing and pushed it about 20 feet.
"The boy was pulled under the car, and witnesses ran over to get him out," Richardson said. A woman who saw the aftermath of the crash said that the playground equipment was installed at the beginning of the summer and that on a typical evening, a dozen or more children play there.
Richardson said Reymundo was bleeding from the mouth when bystanders pulled him from under the car. His mother held him until paramedics arrived. His sister, who apparently was less severely injured, was taken from the playground and into an apartment to await rescue workers.
Richardson said the accident remains under investigation.