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Prince George’s officer crashes on Baltimore Avenue

Monday was gray and wet and not the best of days for law enforcement officers on wheels in Prince George’s County.

A county police officer wrecked a vehicle in the Laurel area. A sheriff’s officer from St. Mary’s County was injured while helping with training for motorcycle police at the University of Maryland.

In the first incident, a Prince George’s officer apparently lost control of his marked police sport-utility vehicle around 2 a.m. at Baltimore Avenue and Contee Road, the county police said. They said the vehicle struck a curb during a turn from the avenue onto the road. It flipped over and struck a light pole, according to a report posted on a county police’s Web site.

The light pole fell and damaged several parked cars, the report said.

The officer, who had been on the force for two years, required extrication from his vehicle, police said. The report said he was treated at a hospital and released.

The cause of the wreck was not known immediately. But the morning was rainy and roads were wet. Cpl. Clinton Copeland, a police spokesman, said that weather may have been a factor.

The other incident occurred shortly after 1 p.m., and it, too, occurred on Baltimore Avenue. However, the location was several miles to the south, near Paint Branch Parkway in College Park, near the University of Maryland campus.

In a statement, the St. Mary’s County sheriff’s office said Cpl. Joseph Somerville was “providing instructor support” for a basic motorcycle officer course connected with the University of Maryland’s Department of Public Safety training academy.

The St. Mary’s statement said Somerville, who had been attached to the sheriff’s office for 17 years, was involved in a motorcycle collision.

The incident is under investigation by the Prince George’s police.

Details remained sketchy Monday night; Copeland said it was believed that the officer fell from his motorcycle but suffered only minor injuries.

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