2023 Year in Review

DELMARVA - With 2024 just around the corner, WBOC invites you to look back on Delmarva’s year and the news we covered across the Peninsula. This week we’ll revisit some of our most notable and most-read and watched stories of the year by three-month intervals, continuing with the second quarter of the year. You can read about the top stories of the first quarter of 2023 here, the third quarter here, and the fourth here


April 2023

April arrived with a fury on Delmarva this year, beginning the very first day of the month with a devastating tornado in Sussex County. The destruction the tornado wrought was widespread, with some neighbors still feeling the effects today. Chief Meteorologist Dan Satterfield took to Chopper 16 to survey the path of destruction, and the following days saw massive community efforts to help neighbors clean up the damage. The tornado would later be classified as an historic EF-3, tying it in intensity with a 1961 tornado in New Castle as the strongest ever seen in Delaware. The vicious storm unfortunately killed one man

Post-Tornado Damage on Fawn Rd. in Greenwood

Staci Warrington's home on Fawn Rd. was also completely leveled. She was in Ocean City when the tornado hit. Her dogs and cat were home at the time, however, they all made it out alive. (Photo: WBOC)

April 14th also saw tragic and senseless violence in Laurel, DE, with a shooting at the Wexford Village Apartments that claimed the life of 18-year-old Laurel High School basketball star Corey Mumford. Mumford’s death was mourned throughout Laurel and beyond and sparked an intensive search for the shooting suspects. The first of those suspects was taken into custody a week later, with two more suspects to be implicated in the months to come. 

Laurel High School Corey Mumford Funeral

Many others did not know Corey or his family, but were shaken by his death and the impact gun violence has had on the Laurel community. (Photo: WBOC)

Further north in Delaware, another April shooting at the Christiana Mall left three victims injured. Police confirmed to WBOC at the time the shooting had stemmed from a personal altercation at the mall and was not a random active shooter incident.

Online readers also took a particular interest in a wild encounter in April between one woman and a great horned owl in Berlin, MD. The owl was found injured on the side of the road on April 5, and a good Samaritan attempted to save the bird and bring it to nearby park rangers. The bird, however, latched its talons into its rescuers arm and refused to let go. The good Samaritan ultimately declined medical treatment when the owl finally released its grip, but the bird sadly had to be euthanized due to its injuries.

May 2023

The most read story in May covered a criminal investigation at Sussex Central High School in Georgetown, DE. At the time, it was unknown what launched the investigation and who was being investigated, though the Indian River School District confirmed to WBOC that staff members had been placed on administrative leave. Months later, a former student would file a lawsuit against the school over the incident, alleging her privacy had been violated when surveillance footage showing her exposed breast had been allegedly shared among school staff. 

May also saw a major development in the investigation into the tragic 2022 death of 14-year-old Gavin Knupp near Berlin, MD. Nearly a year after the hit-and-run crash that killed Knupp, a Worcester County man was formally charged. Tyler Mailloux, of Berlin, faced 17 charges in Knupp’s death, 13 of which were misdemeanors. The court filing announcement in May seemed to be the first significant step in the Knupp family’s search for justice, though the case would face legal hurdles later in the summer. After being dismissed by a Worcester County Circuit Court Judge in August, the case’s future remains uncertain.

Gavin Knupp

Photos courtesy of The Knupp family

Delmarva kept a close watch on another major trial in May. On May 8th, Austin Davidson, accused of killing Wicomico County Sheriff's Deputy Corporal Glenn Hilliard, was found guilty of first degree murder and various other charges. After a week-long trial, it took the jury three hours to reach their verdict. Davidson killed Corporal Hilliard in June 2022, and the guilty verdict almost a year later could finally begin the process of healing for Hilliard's family and his community.

A sweeping drug investigation in Salisbury, MD also garnered wide attention in May, with the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office announcing the arrest of three people and the reported seizure of cocaine, meth, marijuana, and almost a quarter of a million dollars in cash.

A number of readers in May took interest in a new assault weapon certificate program in Delaware. As part of Governor John Carney’s Delaware Lethal Firearms Safety Act of 2022, manufacturing, selling, or transferring of assault weapons was prohibited save for certain exceptions. Those exempt from the ban could acquire a certificate of possession conclusively proving they lawfully possessed or obtained their assault weapon.

June 2023

Wildfires in eastern Canada marked the start of June with hazy skies across Delmarva, triggering numerous air quality alerts on the Peninsula. On June 7th, Delawareans especially took note of a Code Red Air Quality Action due to the smoky skies as the haze blanketed the coast. 

Weather continued to make headlines in June with a lightning strike setting fire to a popular Ocean City restaurant later in the month, and heavy winds and rain transforming Ocean City’s boardwalk into a veritable sandbox.

Pile of Sand

The largest pile of sand on the boardwalk stood a few feet high. 

June’s most widely read story online came in the last half of the month when a tractor-trailer went into the water off of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel in Virginia. Officials were notified on June 22nd the truck with attached trailer went over the rail of the Bay Bridge-Tunnel about a mile from Chic’s Beach. The Coast Guard and Virginia Beach Police responded along with multiple other rescue crews. The driver of the truck, identified as Christopher Scott, 36, of Henrico VA did not survive the crash. Both Scott’s body and the truck were recovered from the water.

Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel Tractor Trailer

Photo courtesy of Loud Seabrooks

Coastal crime also drew attention in June, with both an armed robbery in Ocean City, MD and a shooting at Paradise Grill in Long Neck, DE taking top spots on the most-read list. The suspect in the Ocean City armed robbery was arrested later in the summer in Washington DC.

Next: Third Quarter Review

Previous: First Quarter Review