SNOW HILL — A fiery two-vehicle crash on Route 113 near Snow Hill on Monday afternoon caused by a driver who failed to break in time to avoid traffic stopped for a school bus shut down the highway for about two hours.
Around 4:30 p.m. on Monday, a 2002 Chevrolet Impala collided with a 1997 Chevy cargo van on Route 113 just south of Porters Crossing Rd. near Snow Hill. The investigation revealed the Impala’s 16-year-old driver failed to notice traffic stopped in the highway behind a stopped school bus dropping off children. The school bus was stopped with its flashing red warning lights activated.
The Chevy Impala rear-ended the cargo van, driven by William Heiser, Jr., and then burst into flames. The fire then spread to the cargo van with both vehicles engulfed in flames. All of the occupants involved in the collision were able to escape the fire, although the 16-year-old driver was transported to PRMC in Salisbury and was treated and later released.
None of the children exiting the bus were injured, nor was the bus damaged in the accident. Route 113 was closed for approximately two hours while the vehicles were removed and the scene was cleared. In the wake of the accident, the Maryland State Police are reminding drivers that school is back in session and urging them to be alert during the morning and afternoon hours as children are being transported to and from school.
Meanwhile, the Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) this week is reminding local residents and visitors that while school bus pick-up times vary, as a general rule, the activities are typically from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. and from 2:45 p.m. to 4 p.m.
While on Coastal Highway, vehicles traveling in the same direction as a school bus must stop for buses with flashing red lights while they are engaged in picking up or dropping off children. Motorists are reminded to slow down and be especially alert in residential areas and school zones and to take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs. Watch for children on or near the road in the morning and after school hours, and also put down cell phones and don’t text while driving, which is illegal in Maryland.