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Posted at 2:20 PM ET, 03/ 3/2010

Howard County teens hospitalized after collision

By Washington Post editors

Four teenagers from Howard County were hospitalized Tuesday following a two-car collision on slick roads -- the second time in less than a week there has been an accident involving young drivers.

Howard County police said a 2004 Dodge Intrepid driven by a 16-year-old girl was northbound on Hall Shop Road near Simpson Road in Clarksville when the vehicle slid while navigating a curve. The car crossed the double-yellow line and collided head-on with a 1993 Chevy pickup truck.

A 17-year-old in the back seat of the car was hospitalized with injuries that were not life-threatening. Three other teenagers, a 17-year-old in the front and two 16-year-olds who were also in the back seat, were taken to Howard County General Hospital. Their injuries were not life-threatening, police said. It is not known whether the teenagers were wearing seat belts at the time of the collision.

The driver of the pickup truck, Richard Lee Tucker, 51, of Burtonsville, was not injured.

Police believe that the driver of the Dodge, a 16-year-old female from Laurel, who was not injured, was at fault. She was cited for failing to drive right of center. Because she is a juvenile facing charges, her name will not be released.

This is the second time in two weeks that teenagers have been injured in a car collision in Howard. Last Thursday, two Howard County teenagers were hospitalized after a three-vehicle collision at Quarterstaff Road and Freetown Road in Columbia. The 17-year-old driver was cited at the scene for negligent driving and violating a restriction of his provisional license by allowing a passenger to ride without a seat belt. He was not identified because he is a juvenile facing charges.

Howard County police spokeswoman Elizabeth Schroen safety is always a major issue for young drivers, since they often lack the experience of their older counterparts. Schroen said the department will work with school resource officers to continue to emphasize the importance of careful driving to county teens. In addition, Howard County police also offer a special program designed to teach collision avoidance to young drivers. Schroen said the department is also considering offering the "You Are Responsible" program reinforce traffic safety messages following the two recent crashes, which involved teens from the same high school, Atholton High School.

By Washington Post editors  | March 3, 2010; 2:20 PM ET
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