Ocean City Bicycle Fatality Reminds Maryland Cyclists to take Precautions, Be Alert

A sad story of a fatal bicycle accident in Ocean City, MD, came across the wires recently and points to the dangers inherent any time a bike rider travels on public roads. It happened on Maryland’s Coastal Highway as 23-year-old Kristin Anne Stormer was taking a leisurely summer ride. While riding her bicycle along a pedestrian crosswalk, she was struck and killed by a southbound delivery truck.

As a Maryland auto accident lawyer, I’ve represented numerous individuals who have been injured in automobile-bicycle accidents. Although the roadway in question has a 35mph posted speed limit, at those relatively low speeds even a small car, much less a full-size delivery truck, can seriously injure or kill someone on a bike. Without knowing the specific details, it’s hard to say if the truck driver was responsible for this woman’s sad and unfortunate death.

Summer is a great time to out and about. But whether you’re riding a bike, a motorcycle or driving a car, even a relaxing trip along the coast must be done with a degree of caution. As motor vehicle operators and as bicycle riders, we all have a responsibility to follow the rules of the road. In this case, reports state that the woman may have been listening to an iPod while riding her bike. This is can be a dangerous activity for anyone operating a vehicle in traffic and it is actually illegal in Maryland.

According to reports, the driver of the truck had not yet been charged in relation to the accident, although an investigation was ongoing. Not long after this tragic event, another bicyclist was killed in an early-morning collision with a motor vehicle. The fatal crash happened on the Harry W. Kelley Memorial Bridge along Route 50 when a drunk driver plowed into two cyclists in an apparent hit-and-run accident. According to Maryland State Police, one of the cyclists, 41-year-old Edward Joseph Zisk, died at the scene as a result of his injuries.

In that incident, police reports indicate that the 34-year-old driver, Daniel Mathew Bren of Berlin, MD, hit the two bike riders from behind, then fled the scene in his 2006 Chevrolet Silverado. Police caught up with and arrested Bren shortly after the accident. He was charged with negligent homicide by motor vehicle while under the influence, driving under the influence of alcohol, and failing to remain at the scene of an accident involving the death of another.

These tragic incidents are a reminder to the rest of us that potential injury lurks around just about any corner. Whether you are a driver, a rider or a passenger in a vehicle, it pays to stay alert to potential dangers. If you or someone you love has been injured in an auto-related accident, we highly recommend that you seek the counsel of a qualified legal professional to handle your automobile accident, personal injury or wrongful death case.

Two cyclists die in resort roadway accidents, DelmarvaNow.com, June 30, 2009

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