Biker Injured In OC Hit-And-Run

OCEAN CITY — An Ocean City man faces a multitude of charges this week after allegedly striking a bicyclist with his vehicle while intoxicated, causing the rider to get ejected, before leaving the scene and colliding with another vehicle several blocks away.

Around 9:20 p.m. last Sunday, Ocean City Police responded to the area of Baltimore Ave. and 2nd Street for a reported hit-and-run crash involving a bicycle. Witnesses reported a red Buick Century collided with a bicyclist at 2nd Street, the force of which caused the bike rider to be ejected. The bicyclist complained of back pain after the collision and was taken to the hospital for treatment.

Witnesses told police the vehicle that struck the bicycle left the scene immediately without stopping. According to police reports, witnesses at the scene screamed for Hughes to stop and honked horns and flashed lights in an effort to get him to remain at the scene.

One of the witnesses was driving a vehicle and followed the red Buick Century northbound on Baltimore Ave. until it crashed into a rear of another vehicle. The witness followed the Buick from 2nd Street where the bicyclist was struck to 12th Street where the second collision occurred and maintained a line of sight until police arrived.

When officers arrived at the scene of the second collision, they observed the driver, later identified as Joseph Hughes, 51, of Ocean City, still behind the wheel. The officers observed Hughes get out of the vehicle and approach the occupants of the vehicle with which he had just collided. When the officers met with Hughes, they detected a strong odor of alcohol and other indications he was intoxicated.

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According to police reports, the officer asked Hughes if he had collided with anything or anybody back at 2nd Street to which he replied he did not think so. The officer then told Hughes he had collided with a person on a bicycle, but Hughes said he did not realize that. The officer noted in the report Hughes was genuinely concerned for the well-being of the bicyclist.

According to police reports, Hughes told the officer he had been at a West Ocean City restaurant and that he had consumed two vodka drinks. According to police reports, the officer asked Hughes if he thought he was okay to drive, to which he allegedly replied he thought he was because he was only driving a short distance to his residence on 27th Street. When asked if he thought he was okay to drive a longer distance, he replied he would not be and if one drinks alcohol, they should take the bus, according to police reports. After performing poorly on field sobriety tests, Hughes was charged with DUI and leaving the scene of an accident involving bodily injury.