Tuesday, September 11 – Civil Suit Filed After OC Pedestrian Death

SNOW HILL – The family of an Easton man struck and killed by a vehicle while crossing Coastal Highway in June have filed a wrongful death civil suit against the vehicle’s driver, a 19-year-old Pennsylvania man, seeking $1.75 million in damages and are still seeking justice in the form of some sort of criminal charges against the driver.

Shortly before 2 a.m. on June 17, Tyler Adams, 21, of Easton, and a friend, Dale Blankenship, 21, also of Easton, ran across Coastal Highway between 32nd and 33rd streets from east to west when they were struck by a southbound vehicle, a Jeep Cherokee, driven by 19-year-old Brian Scott of Orwigsburg, Pa.

Blankenship was struck in the foot by the vehicle and received only minor injuries. He was treated at the scene. Adams was struck head-on by the front of the vehicle and was launched over the vehicle according to police reports and witness testimony. He was transported to PRMC in Salisbury and later transferred to Shock Trauma in Baltimore, where he died two days later.

Scott allegedly continued on after the collision and did not stop until he was pulled over by Ocean City Police. He was required to take an intoximeter test a short time later at OCPD headquarters, and the results showed he had a breath-alcohol level of .05, which is below the legal limit for an adult driver in Maryland.

However, Scott was just 19 at the time and any level of alcohol in his system should have resulted in some criminal charges, according to the wrongful death suit filed by the victim’s family. In addition, an independent investigation revealed Scott had alcohol in his vehicle at the time of the collision.

Witnesses at the scene have also said Scott was speeding when he ran through a red light and crossed the intersection. Nonetheless, the victim was determined to be at fault in the incident because he had allegedly been drinking, although the medical examiner’s report indicated just trace amounts of alcohol in his system. The original police report on the incident also puts Adams and Blankenship at fault because they were not crossing Coastal Highway in a marked crosswalk.

No charges have been filed against the driver, Scott, although persistent efforts by the victim’s family and the private investigation firm they hired to conduct an independent inquiry to shed more light on the facts of the case allegedly have State’s Attorney Joel Todd considering presenting the facts of the case to a grand jury to determine what, if any, charges should be brought against Scott.

In the meantime, the wrongful death suit filed late last month on behalf of the victim’s mother, Holly Davis, is seeking $1 million in punitive damages and $750,000 in compensatory damages against Scott.

For the full story, see The Dispatch on Friday.