The accident occurred late Tuesday afternoon at this intersection on Coastal Highway at 21st Street in Ocean City. (Photo: WBOC)
OCEAN CITY, Md.- Police say a 15-year-old girl died after being struck by a vehicle in Ocean City late Tuesday afternoon.
According to Ocean City police, an investigation revealed that shortly before 6 p.m. Tuesday, a group of friends were attempting to cross Coastal Highway at 21st Street from the east side to the west side to catch a southbound municipal bus. According to investigators, three of the four crossed from east to west against the "No Walk" signal to the median. Police said they then began to run across the southbound lanes just north of the marked crosswalk, but still crossed against the "No Walk" signal.
Authorities said one of the three- a 15-year-old girl from Allegany County, Md.- was struck by a vehicle in southbound lane three of Coastal Highway. She was treated at the scene by Ocean City paramedics and transported with life-threatening injuries to Atlantic General Hospital in Berlin. She was later transferred to Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury where she later died of her injuries. Her body has been taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore for an autopsy.
The driver of the vehicle was identified as a 17-year-old boy from Worcester County, Md.
Police said that due to the ages of both the pedestrian and the driver, their names are not being released. The driver of the vehicle was released at the scene without being charged.
"She was just north of a cross walk, wasn't quite in a crosswalk but was crossing against the traffic signal so the vehicle that was traveling south had a green light," said Jessica Waters, an OCPD spokesperson. "It's a misconception that pedestrians think all the vehicles will see them and that they have to stop. And unfortunately not all vehicles see the pedestrians."
Some drivers and people just walking around Ocean City on Wednesday told WBOC that far too often do they see other people either not obeying traffic laws or watching where they are going, especially young people in town for summer break.
"I hate that anyone got hurt I especially hate that someone would die," said Belinda Lewis of Gainesville, Ga. "But I can see how it could happen. I have seen kids walk out in front of cars."
"People think they are invincible and want to run across the street like nobody is going to hit them but you're trying to pay attention trying to get to that median and drivers are trying to pay attention to drive," said Amber Gardner of Caroll County, Md.
Waters said the department has been doing everything it can to ensure visitors stay safe but this tough job can not be done alone.
"People be extra vigilant and look for pedestrians and look for the scooter operators and look for the bicyclist," Waters said. "It's really important that pedestrians do their job too."
Police are awaiting toxicology reports to see if the 15-year-old girl had been drinking, according to Waters.
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