OCEAN CITY – Further evidence of the dangerous mix of traffic and thousands of pedestrians on Coastal Highway during the busy season manifested itself last weekend with two serious accidents involving pedestrians, including one struck by a teen drunk driver, in the span of about nine hours on Sunday.
It began around 2:25 a.m. last Sunday when a 44-year-old man attempting to cross Coastal Highway at 60th Street was struck by a 2008 Nissan Altima driven by an 18-year-old man, later identified as Russell Charles Mass, Jr., of Essex, Md. According to police reports, the victim, who has not been identified, was attempting to cross Coastal Highway from west to east when he was struck by Mass, who was traveling in the southbound lanes of the highway.
According to police reports, the victim was not in a crosswalk and alcohol may have been a factor although the investigation is ongoing. The victim suffered severe head injuries and was transported to Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury. His condition has not been released.
Meanwhile, Mass was brought in for a mandatory breath test, the results of which showed he was over the legal limit for alcohol intoxication, according to police reports. Mass has been charged with driving under the influence, DUI per se, driving while impaired, failure to immediately stop at the scene of an accident involving bodily injury and violation of a license restriction. No other charges have been added although the investigation is ongoing.
About nine hours later, at 11:20 a.m., OCPD officers responded to the scene of a reported collision between a pedestrian and an Ocean City municipal bus. According to police reports, the victim, later identified as Brett Patrick Dellomo, 18, of Williamsport, Pa., was walking north on the sidewalk in the area of 123rd Street when he struck the side of the bus.
Witnesses told police they saw Dellomo walk off the sidewalk and into the southbound bus lane as the bus approached from about 100 feet away. The preliminary investigation revealed Dellomo came off the sidewalk and walked into the bus on the passenger side as it passed him.
According to police reports, Dellomo’s contact with the moving bus caused him to be thrown to the ground at which point he struck his head on the sidewalk. The bus driver immediately stopped the bus and contacted EMS and the OCPD. Dellomo was taken to PRMC in Salisbury in critical condition although no updates on his status were made public later in the week. The investigation is ongoing and anyone who might have witnessed the accident is encouraged to contact OCPD Pfc. Hugh Bean at 410-520-5293.
Unfortunately, accidents involving vehicles and pedestrians occur rather frequently throughout the busy summer months. Ocean City Police this week took the opportunity of two such accidents in a span of a few hours on Sunday to remind visitors and residents to be very conscious of their activities in and around busy traffic ways.
Pedestrians are urged to always use the sidewalks and designated crosswalks and obey all pedestrian traffic control devices. During hours of darkness, pedestrians should wear light-colored clothing and allow for extra time when crossing busy roadways. In addition, parents should always make certain they hold their children’s hands when crossing roadways.
Ocean City police this week also reminded visitors and residents not to drink and drive. Resort police urge residents and visitors who plan to consume alcohol to use a designated driver. Other options include the town’s affordable bus service or the also fairly reasonable taxi cab services.