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Police officer crashes during high-speed chase

October 28, 2002|by TARA REILLY

tarar@herald-mail.com

A Thurmont, Md., police officer was flown to University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore after he lost control of his cruiser and slammed into a tree while chasing a robbery suspect Thursday, the Frederick County Sheriff's Department said Friday.

Officer Rick White of the Thurmont Police Department was pursuing a vehicle wanted in connection with an armed robbery at ACE Hardware Store on North Church Street in Thurmont, police said.

Charles Leroy Smith, 43, of Frederick, Md., and Steven Howard Parker, 38, of Adamstown, Md., are facing charges in the incident, police said.

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The chase started on U.S. 15 in the Thurmont area and continued into the Mountainside Road area and onto Yellow Springs Pike north of Frederick. White crashed on Yellow Springs Pike north of Christopher's Crossing, police said.

His cruiser then caught fire, but the fire was quickly extinguished by a sheriff's deputy following White.

White was trapped in his patrol car for about 30 minutes, police said.

A Shock Trauma spokesperson said Thursday night that White was in critical condition. No information was available on his condition Friday night.

After White's accident, officers with the Frederick Police Department spotted the car he was pursuing near Christopher's Crossing and Rocky Springs Road. Officers with the Frederick Police Department and the Frederick County Sheriff's Office continued the pursuit, police said.

Police spotted the car on Rocky Springs Road, about 1/4 mile north of Rosemont Avenue,. The car hit two Frederick Police vehicles before continuing on Rosemont Avenue, where it struck two sheriff's vehicles and a Maryland State Police vehicle before coming to rest against a light pole, police said.

Smith was charged with first degree assault, four counts of second degree assault, theft and conspiracy to commit theft and four counts of malicious destruction of property, police said.

Parker was charged with theft and conspiracy to commit theft, police said.

Smith and Parker are being held at the Frederick County Detention Center. Smith is being held on $400,000 bond and Parker on $65,000 bond.

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