NEW FOR WEDNESDAY: Seat Belt Use Credited For Saving Lives In Downtown Accident

NEW FOR WEDNESDAY: Seat Belt Use Credited For Saving Lives In Downtown Accident
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Photo by Willey Surfboards

OCEAN CITY — Ocean City Police are crediting seat belt use for averting a potential tragedy during a Tuesday afternoon accident at the foot of the Route 50 bridge that resulted in four individuals being extracted from an overturned vehicle and taken to the hospital.

Around 3:15 p.m. on Tuesday, Ocean City Police and Fire Department personnel responded to a reported motor vehicle accident at North Division Street and Philadelphia Ave. involving an overturned vehicle that came to rest on its roof. The investigation revealed both vehicles were traveling southbound on Philadelphia Ave. when a vehicle in the right lane attempted to make an illegal left turn and struck the vehicle in the center lane.

The force of the collision caused the vehicle in the center lane to overturn and come to rest on its roof in the intersection of Philadelphia Ave. and North Division Street, right at the foot of the Route 50 bridge. The overturned vehicle had four individuals inside, all of whom were wearing seat belts. The four individuals in the overturned vehicle were extricated by a rescue operation carried out by the Ocean City Fire Department.

The driver was flown by MSP helicopter to the University of Maryland Medical Center’s Shock Trauma unit in Baltimore. As of midday on Wednesday, the victim was listed in stable condition. The three other occupants in the overturned vehicle were transported to PRMC in Salisbury and each was released later on Tuesday evening. On Wednesday, new Ocean City Police Chief Ross Buzzuro said the accident illustrated the importance of seat belt use.

“According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, seat belts are the single most effective traffic safety device for preventing death and injury,” he said. “Seat belts save lives and yesterday’s [Tuesday’s] crash is an example of how important it is to simply buckle up.”

The driver of the at-fault vehicle, identified as Raymond J. Gallo of North Hampton, Pa., sustained minor injuries and was treated by EMS at the scene. Gallo has been charged with failing to yield the right-of-way and marking a left turn from an improper lane position.

Meanwhile, the crash resulted in major traffic pattern changes in the heart of the downtown area on a busy July afternoon. The outbound lanes of the Route 50 bridge were blocked and inbound Route 50 traffic had to be diverted away from the crash scene for about an hour.