Cop’s Fatal Collision With Pedestrian Ruled Not Preventable; Probe Finds No Criminal Liability

OCEAN CITY — Roughly six months after the tragic incident last May, the Maryland State Police (MSP) have completed the investigation into a fatal pedestrian collision involving an on-duty Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer.

The accident claimed the life of a Pennsylvania man, and investigators have determined the accident was not preventable and there was no evidence of any wrongdoing.

Around 1:10 a.m. on May 3, a pedestrian crossing Coastal Highway in the area of 94th Street was struck by a marked OCPD patrol vehicle driven by Private-First Class Xeniya Patterson while she was on duty. The victim, later identified as Jeffrey Delong, 67, of Kutztown, Pa., was crossing Coastal Highway from east to west in the north crosswalk against a pedestrian signal when he was struck by the five-year OCPD veteran.

The OCPD officer was traveling southbound on Coastal Highway on route patrol at the time of the collision. The victim was transported by Ocean City Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to Atlantic General Hospital in Berlin where he was later pronounced deceased.

The investigation was immediately turned over to the Maryland State Police Crash Team. Once completed, the MSP investigators turned their findings over to Worcester County State’s Attorney Beau Oglesby late last week.

Oglesby reviewed the MSP’s findings and determined there was no criminal liability to assess to any party involved. An internal investigation was also conducted and it was determined the collision was non-preventable.

An internal investigation was conducted by the OCPD Crash Review Board, which also determined the collision was not preventable and no disciplinary action or additional training was needed. The OCPD Crash Review Board is comprised of command staff members and other employees highly trained in traffic collision investigations who routinely review all traffic collisions involving on-duty police personnel.