Two children were severely injured Saturday in Anne Arundel County when a police car from Howard County made a U-turn into the path of their vehicle, the Anne Arundel police said.

The crash occurred at about 4:10 p.m. at Route 100 and Route 10 in the Glen Burnie area, the Anne Arundel police said. The children, two girls from Baltimore aged 11 and 4, were taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, the police said.

The 31-year-old woman who was driving the car they were riding in, and another passenger, a 34-year-old man, both of Brooklyn Park, Md., were also injured. Their injuries were described as not life-threatening.

The officer involved in the crash was identified as Symchay Kon Bendu, a four-year veteran of the Howard County police. Anne Arundel police said Bendu was on duty at the time of the wreck, but it was not clear why he was in Anne Arundel. The site of the crash is about 10 miles east of the border between the counties.

It was not known whether the officer was injured.

According to the Anne Arundel police, the officer was unfamiliar with the area and was trying to return to Howard when the crash occurred.

Bendu was on Route 100 East, in the area where it merges with southbound Route 10, when he slowed at the end of a grass median and tried to get onto Route 100 West, the Anne Arundel police said,.

Anne Arundel police said in a statement that he “made an illegal U-turn directly into the path” of the vehicle the children were in, which was on Route 10 South.

Anne Arundel police said initial information indicated that “driver error was a contributing factor in the crash.”

Howard police chief William McMahon said in a statement that “our thoughts and prayers go out to the two children who were seriously injured in a collision today involving a Howard County police officer in Anne Arundel County.

“As a parent, my heart goes out to their parents and family.”

He said he could not give more details because the incident is still under investigation.