Posted on Sep 30, 2012

A Prince George’s County police officer died on Monday, August 20, in a car crash in Beltsville while attempting to catch up with a suspected thief who was speeding on the interstate.

Officers Adrian Morris and Michael Risher were at a gas station in Laurel investigating the claim that two men had attempted to take another customer’s car before driving off in an Acura minutes earlier. A witness saw the Acura drive by again, so the officers returned to their police cruiser and gave chase.

The two suspects in the Acura, which was reported stolen, sped along southbound Interstate 95, crossing all lanes of traffic in an attempt to flee police.

Morris, who was driving the police cruiser, was trying to catch up to the Acura when he lost control of the police vehicle near Powder Mill Road in Beltsville around 1:00 PM. The cruiser flipped over several times before landing in the ditch.

Morris, age 23, was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the vehicle. He suffered a serious head injury and died at the hospital. Risher was injured in the crash but is expected to survive. 

Morris had been on the police force for two-and-a-half years. As a teenager, he had participated in the Police Explorer’s program, which is designed for youth who are interested in becoming officers. He had hoped to one day run the program himself.

The circumstances involving the Prince George’s County accident are still under investigation, according to Police Chief Mark Magaw. It is uncertain how fast Morris was driving at the time of the crash.

The two suspected thieves were arrested later in the week. Kevon Neal, 23, and Kenneth Mitchell Jr., 24, both face felony charges in connection with the car theft and fatal crash. 

We at Nickelsporn and Lundin express our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Morris, who served his community well.

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