The year just past was marred by hundreds of traffic accidents throughout Maryland, some of which resulted in fatalities. One of the saddest was the death of a Stephen Decatur High School sophomore who was hit by a car as he and some friends tried to cross Route 50 near Ocean City. As a Baltimore personal injury and auto accident lawyer, my office understands the terrible grief that friends, families and communities feel at the loss of any youngster.
Unfortunately, traffic accidents involving pedestrians are often fatal and almost always severe. As drivers, we all must be especially vigilant when approaching people walking along the roadside or crossing the street. Cars, pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles (SUVs) are much more massive and quicker than a person on foot. Therefore additional caution should always be exercised whenever pedestrians are nearby.
According to news articles, the driver who hit the boy last year in May had a 0.10 percent blood-alcohol content at the time of the accident. Other than the drunken driving offense police had not issued any other charges in connection with the fatal crash. The man recently received six months in jail from a Worchester County court for his part in the accident.
According to the Maryland State Police, 16-year-old Matthew Barcase of Ocean Pines had crossed the westbound lanes and made it to the median before he was struck by a vehicle traveling east toward Ocean City. Police believe Barcase might have stumbled or tripped into the path of the oncoming vehicle. Barcase was taken to Atlantic General Hospital in Berlin where he was pronounced dead.
The driver of the vehicle that hit the young man, 29-year-old Luis Angel Rodriguez of Massapequa Park, N.Y., was indicted by a Worcester County grand jury in October on drunken driving charges.
In sentencing the man, Judge Theodore Eschenberg stated that he couldn’t treat the defendant’s arrest for drunk driving as a first offense. “Considering what the family wants, what the state wants, what the facts of the case suggest, I’m sentencing you to six months in the Worcester County Jail,” Eschenberg said. “No matter what sentence I give you, it’s not going to bring that young man back.”
Motorist Jailed 6 Months In Pedestrian Fatality, MdCoastDispatch.com, January 15, 2010
Decatur student struck, killed; driver charged with DUI, OceanCityToday.com, January 1, 2010