Resort Condo Building Struck Again By Vehicle

OCEAN CITY — For the second time in a little over a year, a mid-town Ocean City condominium building this week suffered severe damage when a vehicle collided with the structure fronting Coastal Highway near 65th Street.

Around 10:30 p.m. last Saturday, Ocean City police responded to a reported single-vehicle accident on Coastal Highway at 65th Street involving the Sand Pebbles condominium building, the same condo building that had been struck by a dump truck and nearly destroyed in April 2010.

In last Saturday’s incident, the OCPD determined a 1994 Toyota Supra had been traveling north on Coastal Highway when the driver lost control, ran over the sidewalk, some shrubbery and a pedestrian control device before crashing into the northwest corner of the Sand Pebbles condo building.

The driver, whose name has not yet been released, became trapped in the vehicle, while an unidentified passenger left the scene before police arrived. The Ocean City Fire Department responded to assist with the extrication of the driver, who was removed from the vehicle about a half an hour later. The driver was then transported to PRMC with injuries not believed to be life threatening, while the unknown passenger who fled the scene was never located.

The OCPD traffic safety unit this week is continuing the investigation. Although alcohol use has been ruled out as a factor in the crash, charges are pending against the unnamed driver, according to Ocean City Police. Traffic was backed up on northbound Coastal Highway for well over an hour on a busy Saturday night as the victim was extricated and the scene was cleared.

Meanwhile, the Ocean City Building Inspector this week concluded two units of the condominium building and the outside stairs, all at the northwest corner of the building, had been comprised and were deemed unfit for use or occupancy. Construction crews were on the scene midweek assessing the damage and shoring up the impacted areas of the building.

Ironically, the same condo building was struck by a vehicle in exactly the same spot during a single-vehicle accident on April 27, 2010, when the elderly driver of a dump truck lost control, careened across the lanes of traffic and struck the Sand Pebbles condo building on its northwest corner. Around 8:45 a.m. on April 27, 2010, Ocean City Police and the Ocean City Fire Department responded to a reported collision involving a dump truck and the Sand Pebbles condominium building on 65th Street.

The investigation revealed the commercial dump truck, driven by an unidentified 80-year-old man, was heading south on Coastal Highway when it collided with a Honda Accord stopped at the red light. The dump truck then careened to the left across the northbound lanes of Coastal Highway, drove over the sidewalk on the northbound side and crashed into the first floor of the Sand Pebbles before coming to a stop.

Ocean City Fire Department personnel and EMTs extricated the driver from the truck, the entire cab section of which was lodged in the first floor of the building. The entire front end, including the windshield, was crushed and remained inside the first floor units of the Sand Pebbles for well over an hour before a tow company removed the vehicle.

The investigation revealed the dump truck’s driver might have suffered from a medical condition, which caused him to lose consciousness just prior to the accident. However, no charges were ever filed. After that accident, the Sand Pebbles condo was not allowed to be occupied while the damage was assessed and only after months of construction and rehabilitation was it made whole again. Crews worked for nearly a year to completely repair the structure.