OCEAN CITY – Tragedy struck yesterday afternoon when an unidentified teenage female crossing Coastal Highway at 33rd Street on a bicycle was struck and killed by a soft drink delivery truck in the southbound lanes.
As of this morning, the female had yet to be identified by police, as she possessed no identification when the accident occurred.
Shortly before 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, police say the victim attempted to cross Coastal Highway from east to west at the busy 33rd Street intersection and made it safely across the northbound lanes before being struck by a Canada Dry delivery truck in the southbound center lane.
According to a witness who was driving south on Coastal Highway near the tragic scene, the victim was wearing an Ipod and did not look left or right before entering the intersection. The witness said he was in the center lane and saw the victim enter the intersection causing southbound traffic on Coastal Highway to brake suddenly before the truck, which was allegedly forward of the braking traffic, struck the bicyclist.
“She just came rolling through here with her Ipod on just like she was riding down the sidewalk,” the witness said. “She didn’t look left or right. She came rolling through this intersection and I don’t think she ever even touched her brakes.”
The witness said it was a miracle the victim was not struck sooner. The congested 33rd Street intersection was made even more hectic by the mid-day traffic on what was a cloudy, overcast day in the resort.
Ocean City police, the Ocean City Fire Department and Emergency Services responded en masse and quickly put up tarps along the sidewalk to keep hundreds of curiosity seekers away from the accident scene. Two southbound lanes on Coastal Highway were closed for about a block in either direction as police directed traffic around the accident scene.
According to a police press release issued last night, the initial investigation revealed that the women was in the crosswalk, however, was crossing against the traffic signal. The investigation is on-going, however, there are no charges pending against the driver at this time.
In that press release, police took the opportunity to remind visitors and residents to be cautious on and around Coastal Highway. Pedestrians are urged to use the sidewalks and designated marked crosswalks. Citizens riding bicycles and/or scooters should ride in the bus lane and they must obey all traffic laws. This includes, obeying all lane markings, stop signs and traffic signals.
For more details, see Friday’s print and on-line editions of The Dispatch.