Prince George's officer wasn't buckled up during fatal crash

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Local,Maryland,Crime,Ben Giles

An off-duty Prince George's County police officer killed in a car crash Thursday afternoon wasn't wearing his seatbelt, police said Friday.

Officer Kevin Bowden, 28, was driving on Branch Avenue in Clinton, near the intersection of Surratts Road, at about 3 p.m. when his cruiser was struck by a sport-utility vehicle trying to cross several lanes at once, according to Police Chief Mark Magaw.

The collision forced Bowden's cruiser into a utility pole.

Bowden is the second officer killed in a recent car crash who wasn't buckled up. On Aug. 20, Prince George's Officer Adrian Morris, 23, died after his cruiser ran off Interstate 95 while he and his partner were pursuing theft suspects. Morris was ejected from the vehicle in the crash.

All Prince George's County police officers are ordered to wear their seatbelts.

"The general order is very clear that any time the vehicle is in motion, in compliance with state law, the seat belt must be on," Chief Magaw said.

Charges are pending against the female driver of the SUV, who is still in the hospital recovering from non-life threatening injuries, Magaw said. The Prince George's County State's Attorney's office has been briefed by the police department.

Bowden was speeding at the time of the crash, though Magaw said he didn't know exactly how fast he was driving.

bgiles@washingtonexaminer.com

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