The Washington Post

Howard officer, suspect hurt in crash

A Howard County police officer making a roadside arrest early Sunday was struck by a passing car, an accident that landed the officer, the suspect and the driver in the hospital, police said.

Maryland State Police said the county officer, Richard M. Romberger Jr., 43; the man who was being arrested, Matthew J. Griffis, 27, of the 24000 block of Burnt Hill Road in Clarksburg; and the driver, Ricky A. Epperson, 25, of the 7800 block of East Hill Road in Mt. Airy; were flown by helicopters to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center. The state police said their injuries were not life threatening.

Police said the crash was the culmination of a series of events that began before 2 a.m., when Griffis alleged left the scene of an accident on Penn Shop Road. Griffis was located on eastbound Route 144, where Romberger apprehended him.

The two men were standing by the passenger side of Romberger’s patrol car, one of several Howard County police cruisers on the scene with their emergency lights flashing. Epperson drove up, clipped a state police patrol car that had just arrived, and plowed into Romberger’s car, hitting both men, state police said.

No charges had been filed as of Sunday.

Ashley Halsey reports on national and local transportation.

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