OC Bus Driver’s Actions At Fatality Scene Recognized

OCEAN CITY — An unidentified Ocean City municipal bus driver last week was informally recognized for his swift action during an incident this month when a pedestrian crossing Coastal Highway against a traffic signal was struck and killed by an Ocean City Police vehicle.

Shortly after 1 a.m. on May 3, a 67-year-old Pennsylvania man was struck and killed by an Ocean City Police Chevy Tahoe patrol vehicle driven by an on-duty five-year veteran on Coastal Highway at 94th Street. The pedestrian was crossing Coastal Highway from east to west in the north crosswalk against the pedestrian signal when he was struck by the police vehicle in drizzly, foggy conditions.

The officer was traveling southbound on Coastal Highway on routine patrol at the time of the incident. The victim was transported by Ocean City EMS to Atlantic General Hospital where he was pronounced deceased. During the Transportation Committee meeting last week, it was learned the victim and two other individuals were attempting to cross Coastal Highway to catch a municipal bus. Two of the individuals made it safely across, but the victim lagged behind and was struck by the police vehicle. Acting Superintendent of Transportation Wayne Pryor said last Tuesday the bus driver witnessed the tragic collision but despite being shaken had the presence of mind to intercede on behalf of the victim.

“Unfortunately, our bus driver was right on the scene,” he said. “He did some yeoman’s work despite witnessing the accident. He pulled his bus around to block the lanes of traffic so the victim did not get run over.”

Ocean City Risk Manager Eric Lagstrom said his office reached out to the bus driver to gage how he was handling the tragic incident.

“I chatted with him for about an hour and seems to be doing okay,” he said.

Ocean City Police Captain Kevin Kirstein praised the bus driver for his action immediately following the accident.

“That was quick thinking,” he said. “He did exactly what we teach the fire truck drivers to do in situations like this.”