NEW FOR MONDAY: Teen Seriously Injured Crossing Coastal Highway

OCEAN CITY — Yet another pedestrian was struck by a vehicle and seriously injured on Friday, continuing an alarming trend early on in the summer in the resort.< ?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office">

Around 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Ocean City Police and paramedics responded to 59th Street and Coastal Highway for a reported pedestrian-vehicle collision. The preliminary investigation revealed an 18-year-old Finksburg, Md. man was part of a group of individuals walking in a marked crosswalk from west to east across Coastal Highway at 59th Street. While the group was in the crosswalk, the pedestrian signal changed from “walk” to “don’t walk.”

The group then turned around to walk back toward the center median on Coastal Highway, but the 18-year-old victim continued to cross the highway against the “don’t walk” signal and was struck by a vehicle traveling north. The pedestrian was seriously injured and was flown by Maryland State Police helicopter to PRMC in Salisbury with life-threatening injuries. The driver has not been charged and the investigation continues.

The latest incident continues a weeks-long string of pedestrian-vehicle collisions, two of which resulted in fatalities.

Last Tuesday, a crew chief with the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds was attempting to cross Coastal Highway at 54th Street at around 2:30 a.m. and was not in a crosswalk at the time of the collision. The vehicle attempted to swerve to avoid striking the pedestrian, but the victim was struck by the vehicle’s drive side front quarter panel. The 32-year-old Las Vegas man was transported to PRMC and was listed in critical condition as of late last week.

On June 5, a group of individuals were attempting to cross Coastal Highway at 21st Street from east to west to catch a southbound bus. Three of the four crossed against a “don’t walk” signal to the median, then began to run across the southbound lanes of the highway, still against a “don’t walk” signal. One of the three, a 15-year-old Alleghany County girl, was struck in the far right lane adjacent to the bus lane. The victim was transported first to AGH and later transferred to PRMC where she died of injuries sustained in the accident.

On May 28, a 22-year-old Cooksville, Md. man was struck and killed by a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed in the northbound bus lane on Coastal Highway at 54th Street. In that incident, the driver, Diogo Facchini, 30, of Lorton, Va. briefly fled the scene and continued to travel north before turning east onto 55th Street. Witnesses at the scene followed the suspect’s vehicle until police arrived and apprehended Facchini, who has been charged with homicide by motor vehicle, leaving the scene of a fatal collision, driving while intoxicated and impaired and numerous other traffic violations.