BISHOPVILLE — A Bridgeville man faces multiple charges this week after running off the road and colliding with a Maryland State Police vehicle conducting an unrelated traffic stop on Route 113 near Bishopville.
Around 8 a.m. last Friday, a Maryland State Police trooper pulled over a commercial dump truck on Route 113 just south of Bishopville Road for a safety inspection. The MSP vehicle’s emergency lights were activated and, along with the dump truck, was parked on the southbound shoulder of the highway.
When the safety inspection was nearly complete and the MSP trooper was standing on the dump truck’s skids, a Nissan Altima crashed into the trooper’s vehicle. The force of the collision pushed the trooper’s vehicle into the rear of the dump truck.
Neither the trooper nor the dump truck driver were injured during the collision. The driver and sole occupant of the Nissan, identified as Charles Lessner, 33, of Bridgeville, Del., was injured and was taken to Atlantic General Hospital for treatment. Lessner was later charged with driving under the influence and other related traffic offenses including a violation of Maryland’s “move over” law.
According to MSP, last Friday’s incident highlights the importance of Maryland’s “move over” law as well as the dangers of distracted driving. The law requires drivers approaching an emergency vehicle with visual signals while stopped on a highway to make a change to a lane not immediately adjacent to the emergency vehicle when possible. The shift should only be done if another lane in the same direction is available and the move can be made safely.
If moving to another lane away from the stopped emergency vehicle is not possible, the law requires motorists to slow to a reasonable and prudent speed that is safe for existing conditions. A violation is a primary offense that carries a fine of $110 and one point. If the violation contributes to a traffic collision, the fine goes to $150 and three points. If the collision causes serious injury or death, the fine goes to $750 and three points.