Four-Year Sentence For High-Speed Chase Culprit

Four-Year Sentence For High-Speed Chase Culprit
File photo by Chris Parypa

OCEAN CITY — A Georgetown, Del. man, arrested in August after first colliding with a vehicle on Coastal Highway before leading police on a high-speed chase through the midtown area, pleaded guilty last week and was sentenced to four years in jail.

Around 2:25 a.m. on Aug. 18, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer on patrol in the area of 62nd Street observed two vehicles that had just been involved in a collision. Two occupants of the vehicle that had been struck were outside of their vehicle and were yelling at the driver of the other vehicle involved in the collision.

During the argument, the driver of the vehicle that caused the collision, later identified as Jeffrey Terkula, 30, fled southbound on Coastal Highway, driving over the median and going through a solid red traffic signal in the process. OCPD officers located Terkula’s vehicle in the southbound turn lane at 52nd Street and activated emergency lights in an attempt to stop him.

According to police reports, Terkula then turned into a parking lot at 52nd Street, drove through parking lot and out onto 53rd Street before heading back onto Coastal Highway with an OCPD vehicle with flashing lights and sirens blaring in pursuit. Terkula then drove north on Coastal Highway at a high rate of speed, going through red lights at 56th and 59th streets.

When Terkula drove through the red light at 59th Street, there was a bicyclist in the crosswalk who was nearly struck by the vehicle at a high rate of speed. Terkula continued on Coastal Highway north of 59th Street at a high rate of speed in the bus lane, nearly colliding with several pedestrians in the area. According to police reports, there was heavy pedestrian traffic at that time of day and at that location due to multiple bars closing in that area.

According to police reports, Terkula turned east on 62nd Street but was traveling too fast, failed to control the vehicle and slid over the sidewalk, nearly striking a building. Nonetheless, Terkula kept driving and turned into a condo parking lot at 62nd Street where he abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot.

Terkula then led OCPD officers on a foot chase through several parking lots and alleys before finally being taken into custody. According to police reports, Terkula taken to the Public Safety Building where he refused to take any field sobriety tests or intoximeter tests. All in all, he was charged with 45 different counts and was ordered to be held without bond. Last Thursday, Terkula pleaded guilty to driving while impaired, negligent driving and attempting to elude police and was sentenced to a combined four years in jail.

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.