Wild Hit-And-Run Spree Results In 49 Charges

Wild Hit-And-Run Spree Results In 49 Charges
File photo by Chris Parypa

OCEAN CITY — A Delaware woman is facing 48 total charges, including driving while intoxicated and hit-and-run, after a wild spree on Coastal Highway resulted in at least two vehicle collisions.

Around 6:15 p.m. on Tuesday, Ocean City Communications received numerous calls from witnesses, concerned citizens and victims of at least two separate collisions caused by a suspected drunk-driver later identified as Paige Tomczak, 23, of New Castle, Del. After completing a thorough investigation over the course of several hours including interviews with at least 10 witnesses or victims, an Ocean City Police Department officer concluded Tomczak was the alleged suspect in a wild spree through midtown which resulted in multiple accidents and injuries to victims.

Around 6:15 p.m. on Tuesday, Tomczak was observed by several witnesses driving recklessly and erratically through various lanes of traffic before colliding with another vehicle in a northbound lane on Coastal Highway in the area of 76th Street. The force of that collision caused the airbags in Tomczak’s vehicle to deploy, yet she continued to drive recklessly with airbags in clear view, according to police reports.

Damaged parts reportedly flew from Tomczak’s vehicle as she continued to flee north on Coastal Highway from the scene of the hit-and-run collision. According to police reports, debris from Tomczak’s vehicle was strewn across all lanes of the highway and may have damaged other vehicles. The victim’s vehicle was damaged in the collision, but the victim was not injured.

Meanwhile, Tomczak reportedly headed north on Coastal Highway after that first collision followed by witnesses. According to witnesses, Tomczak continued driving with a severely disabled vehicle with large pieces missing, at least one flat tire and its airbags deployed. At 81st Street, Tomczak’s vehicle reportedly crossed through the intersection at 81st Street and drove north in the southbound lanes before colliding nearly head-on with a vehicle driving southbound, which had a steady green traffic signal and the right-of-way.

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The force of that collision caused Tomczak’s damaged vehicle to spin around facing south again on Coastal Highway. The face and ribs of that victim hit the steering wheel of the struck vehicle and the victim was transported to Atlantic General Hospital for treatment of injuries sustained in the collision.

Now facing south, Tomczak’s vehicle continued down Coastal Highway, striking a curb at 81st Street and swinging around before heading north again, according to police reports. Now heading north again, Tomczak’s vehicle struck a curb again and ran through a red traffic signal at 85th Street. Meanwhile, more and more 911 calls came in about the wild spree and witnesses continued to follow Tomczak.

One witness told police Tomczak allegedly caused a third collision in the area, but no victim came forward to report it, according to police reports. Finally, Tomczak stopped at a parking lot at 85th Street and attempted to flee on foot. A witness who had been following her since the first collision removed the keys from Tomczak’s vehicle to prevent her from fleeing again.

The witness told police she observed a knife in Tomczak’s vehicle and grabbed the suspect to keep her from reaching the weapon or attempting to flee again. During that altercation, Tomczak reportedly grabbed the witness by the hair and scratched her neck. When police arrived, the witness was still in an altercation with Tomczak reportedly to keep the suspect from fleeing the scene again.

Tomczak was arrested at that point and charged with hit-and-run, driving while impaired and intoxicated and numerous other charges related to the collision spree in midtown on a Tuesday night in August. All in all, she faces 48 different charges related to the incident.

During a search of the vehicle incident to the arrest, OCPD officers found numerous pieces of drug evidence along with four open and partially consumed cans of beer, according to police reports. More drug evidence was located during a search of Tomczak’s purse.

At the Public Safety Building for processing, Tomczak was asked to perform a battery of field sobriety tests, which she did not complete to the officers’ satisfaction. A breath test revealed an alcohol concentration of .24, or three times the legal limit. Because of her level of intoxication, the drug evidence and the fact Tomczak had been involved in at least two significant collisions, OCPD officers called EMS to evaluate her condition as a precaution.

According to police reports, Tomczak was aggressive and violent toward the EMTs attempting to evaluate her, throwing a water bottle at them at one point despite being handcuffed. When an OCPD officer restrained Tomczak to prevent her from further attacking EMTs, she allegedly kicked the officer multiple times and more assault charges were added.

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.