Alleged Drunk Driver Kills Pedestrian, Flees Scene
OCEAN CITY -- An otherwise blockbuster holiday weekend in the resort was marred by tragedy when a pedestrian was struck and killed by an alleged drunk driver early Monday morning.
Around 1:20 a.m. on Monday, Ocean City Police responded to the area of 54th Street and Coastal Highway for a reported hit-and-run accident involving a pedestrian. The investigation revealed the pedestrian, later identified as Matthew Jude Cheswick was attempting to cross Coastal Highway from east to west when he was struck by an Isuzu Rodeo traveling northbound in the bus lane.
After striking the victim, the driver, identified as Diogo Miller Facchini, 30, of Lorton, Va., continued to travel north on Coastal Highway before turning right on 55th Street, where witnesses followed his vehicle until he was apprehended by police. The preliminary investigation revealed Facchini was traveling at a speed exceeding the posted limit when he struck the victim. Cheswick was taken to PRMC where he was later pronounced deceased.
Cheswick, a 2008 graduate of Glenelg High School in Howard County, was in the resort on a vacation with friends for the holiday weekend at the time of the tragic incident. Cheswick was a Towson University student studying occupational therapy. He also worked as an operations manager at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia. At Glenelg High’s graduation at Merriweather on Tuesday, large portraits of Cheswick lit up huge video screens at the famed concert venue with the message “In loving memory.”
According to published reports, Cheswick staunchly opposed drinking and driving and strongly advocated against drunk driving. In one report, Cheswick’s mother said her son called her last Friday from Ocean City while he was walking from the 54th Street area to his hotel near the Delaware line because he didn’t want to get in a vehicle and take a ride from a friend who had been drinking.
Meanwhile, Facchini, who was not injured during the collision, was arrested and charged with homicide by motor vehicle while intoxicated, leaving the scene of a fatal collision, driving under the influence and while impaired and numerous other traffic violations. He was taken before a District Court Commissioner and was ordered held initially on a $250,000 bond. However, at a bond review hearing on Tuesday, Facchini had his initial bail revoked and is being held without bond.
Ocean City Police spokesman Pfc. Mike Levy said this week the department and the entire community continues to mourn the loss of another young person in the resort.
“This is absolutely devastating for his family and friends, obviously, but also our entire community,” he said. “There is no excuse for drinking and driving in this town. There is no good reason why a person who has been drinking can’t hop on a bus or take one of our many cabs.”