A Decatur High School student was struck and killed last week by an allegedly drunk driver as the youth attempted to cross Route 50 in West Ocean City, Maryland. Based on eye witness information, the youngster crossed the westbound lanes to reach the center median of the road, but may have stumbled and fallen into the path of eastbound traffic where he was hit by an intoxicated driver.
The incident occurred during the resort town’s “Cruisin’” event. Just before 8 p.m. on May 16, according to police reports, Mathew B. Barcase had successfully crossed the westbound lanes of Route 50, but somehow ended up in the center eastbound lane where he was hit by a 2008 Jeep being driven by Luis A. Rodriguez, 29, of Massapequa Park, N.Y.
This is a tragic accident that should not have happened. While the youth may have been crossing in an uncontrolled section of roadway, drivers along that stretch should have been aware of the additional pedestrian traffic during the local event. It is every driver’s responsibility to be aware of other nearby vehicles, as well as local foot traffic at all times. According to news reports, the suspect was allegedly drunk at the time of his arrest.
Maryland State Police (MSP) officers reported that they detected signs Rodriguez may have been operating the vehicle under the influence of alcohol. Further investigation led to his arrest for driving under the influence. A breath-alcohol content test was administered at the MSP Berlin barrack. Although the results have not been published, the assumption is that the driver’s blood alcohol content was over the legal limit.
Sadly, for the teachers and pupils at Decatur High School, this is the third student to die in the past year. Late last August, a would-be Decatur senior was killed when her vehicle left the roadway on Route 50 near the intersection of Route 589 just prior to the start of the new school season. And last December, another student died in an undisclosed incident.
As Maryland Car Accident Attorneys, we have experienced first-hand the aftermath of many such senseless accidents. Any traffic fatality is tragic, but the loss of a young life is even more devastating — it has a profound influence on the individual’s family, his or her schoolmates and the local community at large. If you or someone you know has been the victim of an automobile accident, we recommend that you contact a qualified legal professional to know your rights under the law.
Decatur Student Mourned After Highway Death, mdcoastdispatch.com, May 22, 2009