(August 20, 2014) – On August 17, 2014, at approximately 2:20 a.m. Ocean City police responded to the area of 55th Street and Coastal Highway for a vehicle collision involving a pedestrian. Upon arrival, officers witnessed a male, later identified as Lester A. Simpson, 32, of Salisbury, MD, attempting to move the vehicle out of the roadway and away from the scene.
During the on-scene investigation, officers determined that another male, later identified as Branden C. Whitley, 31, of Salisbury, was the driver of the vehicle at the time of the collision. Whitley had attempted to flee the scene on foot but was quickly located by officers nearby on 55th Street.
The pedestrian, a 21-year-old female of Willow Grove, PA, was treated on scene by Ocean City EMS and transported to Peninsula Regional Medical Center for non-life threatening injuries. She was released from hospital care on August 18. The pedestrian was not in a crosswalk when she attempted to cross Coastal Highway.
Upon contact with Simpson and Whitley, officers suspected that both were under the influence of alcohol and administered field sobriety tests. Both were unable to complete the tests successfully and were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.
Ocean City police have charged Whitley with multiple charges including driving under the influence, failure to remain at the scene of a collision, failure to exercise due care to avoid a pedestrian and many more. Simpson was charged with multiple driving under the influence charges and was released on his own personal recognizance. Whitley has since been transferred to the Worcester County Jail on $25,000 bond.
Citizens are reminded to Walk Smart! in Ocean City and always use marked crosswalks when attempting to cross Coastal Highway and all other city streets. The Ocean City Police Department is committed to enforcing drunk driving and pedestrian safety and encourages everyone to use the many safe modes of transportation available.