Bike Week Service Calls Down As Police Report Generally Calm Weekend

Bikes are pictured lined up at the Inlet Parking Lot last weekend for the OC Bikefest activities. Photos by Caleb Conner

OCEAN CITY — Aside from the obvious steady roar of engines and traffic tie-ups at certain times, Delmarva Bike Week was relatively calm, although there were a handful of serious and even fatal accidents involving motorcycles away from the sanctioned events.

Statistically speaking, the 2017 Delmarva Bike Week and OC Bikefest events held in and around the resort late last week and through the weekend were one of the calmest in recent memory in terms of the number of police calls for service and traffic stops. OCPD officers responded to 1,153 total calls for service during the period from last Thursday through Sunday, including 837 officer-initiated calls for service and 316 citizen-initiated calls for service.

The total calls for services was down significantly compared to the 2016 Delmarva Bike Week numbers, which came in at 1,662. In fact, the 1,153 calls for service reported last weekend represent the lowest number in four years dating back to the 2013 event. In 2013, there were 1,740 total calls for service, followed by 1,600 in 2014, 1,306 in 2015 and 1,662 last year.

Similarly, the number of traffic stops dropped significantly in Ocean City during last weekend’s Delmarva Bike Week. Just 295 traffic stops were initiated during the four-day event from last Thursday through Sunday, compared to 614 in 2016, 332 in 2015, 544 in 2014 and 825 in 2013.

There were 56 arrests in Ocean City during the four-day Delmarva Bike Week period that began last Thursday, but that figure includes total arrests and not just arrests related to the event. By comparison, 42 total arrests were made during Delmarva Bike Week in 2016, 47 in 2015, 30 in 2014 and 46 in 2013. Despite some minor incidents in Ocean City, Delmarva Bike Week was relatively calm compared to prior years, according to OCPD public affairs specialist Lindsay Richard.

“There was a minimal number of collisions in our jurisdiction over the weekend and most of the collisions that did occur were very minor,” she said. “As far as I know, there was only one that required transport to a hospital by Ocean City EMS. That patient had a minor, non-life-threatening injury. For the most part, we believe that drivers and motorcycles alike were cautious in Ocean City and it was a relatively safe weekend for all.”

While it was relatively safe in and around Ocean City, the same cannot be said in other areas across Delmarva last weekend with two fatal accidents in the region and another with two serious injuries. Maryland State Police (MSP) this week continued to investigate a collision involving two motorcycles on Route 50 in Wicomico County near Pittsville last Thursday night.

Around 11:30 p.m. last Thursday, MSP troopers from the Salisbury barrack responded to a reported collision involving two motorcycles on Route 50 between Salisbury and Pittsville. When MSP troopers arrived, they found paramedics treating one victim while a second victim was pronounced deceased at the scene. The victims’ names have not been released and that investigation is ongoing.

Shortly after 1 p.m. last Friday, Delaware State Police responded to a reported motor vehicle collision involving a motorcycle on Route 113 in Selbyville just across the Worcester County line. The investigation revealed a Ford Expedition driven by an 81-year-old Bishopville woman attempted to cross Route 113 from the Goose Creek convenience store parking lot to the center median when it passed into the path of a southbound motorcycle operated by a 44-year-old Newark, Del. man and his 58-year-old female passenger also of Newark.

The motorcycle struck the front end of the Ford Expedition causing both occupants to be ejected. The victims tumbled several times before coming to rest in the grassy median. The male victim was treated on the scene by Sussex County paramedics before being flown by DSP aviation to Christiana Hospital where he was admitted in serious condition.

The female victim was also treated on the scene by Sussex County paramedics before being transported to Christiana Hospital where she was admitted in serious condition. Both victims were wearing helmets at the time of the collision, according to the DSP. The southbound lanes of Route 113 were closed for approximately three hours, snarling traffic throughout the area on a busy Friday afternoon during Delmarva Bike Week, while the investigation was conducted and the roadway was cleared. Neither alcohol nor speed is being considered as factors in the crash, which remains under investigation.

Finally, a motor vehicle collision involving a motorcycle in neighboring Somerset County on Thursday afternoon claimed the life of a Crisfield man. Around 2 p.m. last Thursday, MSP troopers responded to a reported motor vehicle collision involving a motorcycle on Route 413 near Westover. The investigation revealed a Dodge pick-up truck was attempting to make a left turn when a motorcycle operated by a Crisfield man crossed the center line while attempting a pass and collided with the pick-up truck. The victim was fatally injured.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.