WEEKEND #1, 2018
(Memorial Day Weekend)
Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
BETHESDA MAN STRUCK, KILLED ON COASTAL HIGHWAY SOUTH
"Pedestrian Safety at the Beach Kickoff" event already scheduled for June 4
The holiday weekend got off to a tragic start after a pedestrian was struck and killed on the northbound lanes of Coastal Highway near Keybox Road, midway between the Indian River Inlet and Dewey Beach. The accident happened around 12:50 a.m. Friday.
The pedestrian, later identified by police as 22-year-old Peter M. Rudnicki of Bethesda, was pronounced dead at the scene. Police say Rudnicki had walked into the path of a car. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The northbound lanes were closed for about four hours for the investigation. The 56-year-old Lewes man driving the striking vehicle, a Hyundai Accent, remained on the scene.
For unknown reasons, police say Rudnicki entered into the northbound travel lane of Coastal Highway directly into the path of the Hyundai. The driver was unable to avoid Rudnicki and struck him with the right front bumper within the right travel lane.
Seconds before this accident, a police officer in Dewey Beach was flagged down by a passing motorist who stated that a pedestrian was walking in the middle of Coastal Highway. But it was too late; Rudnicki was reported struck moments later. One report suggested that he had come earlier from a restaurant in Dewey Beach.
Rudnicki was not in a marked crosswalk or carrying a light. Police say alcohol appears to be a factor for Rudnicki. The driver was properly restrained and not injured. The roadway was dark and Rudnicki was not in a marked crosswalk or carrying a light at the time of the accident. Alcohol and unsafe speed are not factors on behalf of the driver. But police say that alcohol does appear to be a contributing factor on behalf of the pedestrian.
Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact Master Corporal K. Argo at 302-644-5020. Information may also be provided by calling Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333 or via the Internet at http://www.delaware.crimestoppersweb.com.
Ironically, the Office of Highway Safety had already scheduled a "Pedestrian Safety at the Beach Kickoff" event for Monday, June 4, at the Rehoboth YMCA.
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MULTIPLE POLICE AGENCIES RESPOND TO DEWEY MELEE
State police horses credited with helping to quickly scatter disorderly crowds
Two Delaware Alcohol and Tobacco Enforcement (DATE) officers were injured and several people were arrested after multiple fights broke out in the area of Coastal Highway and Dagsworthy Street in Dewey Beach just before 1:30 a.m. Sunday. Rehoboth Beach and state police -- including those on horses -- responded to assist with the brawl, along with other agencies.
The revelers were fighting with each other, bystanders and police after they had reportedly left a nearby bar. Several were arrested by the various police agencies. At least one was charged with inciting to riot. A 32-year-old DATE officer had his foot run over during the melee and was taken to the hospital for evaluation. No word yet on the injuries the second DATE officer had suffered, but they did not sound serious.
The real heroes of the weekend, says Sgt. Clifford Dempsey, Dewey Beach PD spokesman, were the state police horses. "I don't think the horses get enough credit," he pointed out. They are such a valuable asset controlling such violent crowds, he said. After reviewing the town's video cameras of the incident, he credits the horses for helping scatter the crowd and getting them off the roadway in just a couple minutes. Without the horses, it would have taken officers much longer to disperse those crowds, he pointed out. "The video shows it, right here, what they can do," he said.
Throughout the entire holiday weekend the horses were a "godsend," Sgt. Dempsey added, as they were useful in helping keep other revelers in line. In another incident he said one person was charged with offensive touching of a law enforcement (OTLE) officer after aggressively touching one of the horses. The horse was not hurt. In Delaware, assaulting a police animal qualifies as an assault on a law enforcement officer.
Screen shots courtesy Dewey Beach PD
11 DEAD DOLPHINS IN PAST 12 DAYS
As of Memorial Day, Suzanne Thurman, MERR Institute executive director, says her organization has investigated the deaths of 11 dolphins in the past 12 days. "It is an uptick," she said. "A few calves which is typical for this time of year, but that's a lot of adults," she pointed out.
One of the 11 dolphins was this one, a young dolphin that was found on Lewes Beach this past week.
"We haven't figured out a cause because most of them were extremely decomposed," she added.
Photo courtesy MERR Institute
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WOMAN CRITICALLY INJURED IN 1st O.C. JET-SKI CRASH OF SEASON
A 23-year-old woman, later identified as Christine Doty from Indiana, Pennsylvania, was critically injured early Saturday evening when the Jet Ski she had been operating collided with another driven by Randhir Muddam, 45, of Houston, Texas. Doty and her passenger, Michael Barnicle, 27, also from Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Muddam, were thrown into the water after the collision.
All three were rescued and brought to the Paradise Watersports dock in West Ocean City around 5:25 p.m. Doty suffered neck and head injuries and had briefly lost consciousness. She was taken to the Ocean City Airport by ambulance and flown to a trauma center where she underwent surgery and was last reported in critical condition. The two men declined EMS transport. Muddam has been charged with negligent operation by Maryland Natural Resources Police. Police say both vessels were rentals.
Photo courtesy Maryland Natural Resources Police
LAKE AVE CLOSED DOWN AFTER CAR LEAKS FUEL IN HOTEL GARAGE
An odor of gas at Hotel Rehoboth closed Lake Avenue briefly around 10:45 p.m. Friday while firefighters investigated. Eventually they located the suspected source, fuel leaking from a car in the garage. That car was not a registered guest and nearly got towed. But the driver returned just in time. Firefighters checked inside the hotel for further gas readings and found nothing.
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R.B. OUTFALL PIPE FINISHED BUT HENLOPEN AVE NOT YET PAVED
The end is in sight for the Rehoboth Beach ocean outfall project.
Construction crews spent the past week hauling off extra pipe and backfilling the ditches through which the 24-inch pipeline runs. They say the route from the sewer plant all the way into the ocean has been completed.
Henlopen Avenue has not yet been re-paved. It has been covered with gravel which has its advantages that fewer cars have been speeding down the street this holiday weekend! Read more in this article by Chris Flood in the Cape Gazette.
BEACH REPLENISHMENT BEGINNING SOON IN BETHANY
This is perhaps the last thing Bethany Beach property owners wanted to see at the start of the summer season. A contractor finally began staging equipment last Tuesday morning in Bethany for beach replenishment.
After several setbacks, beach replenishment for Bethany, South Bethany and Fenwick is expected to start on Friday, June 1, and run through August. See this link for details.
Photo courtesy Tony Crivella
OVERTURNED VEHICLE CRASH SHUTS DOWN COASTAL HIGHWAY
The southbound lanes of Coastal Highway south of Indian River Inlet were gridlocked for about two hours this past Sunday while officials investigated and cleaned up a crash that involved two pickup trucks that had overturned. Traffic backed up all the way to Dewey Beach!
Police say the driver of a Ford F-150 had just made a u-turn from northbound to southbound Coastal Highway when his truck was rear-ended by a Ford F-250 headed south around 3:50 p.m. Both trucks overturned, sending three occupants to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The driver of the F-250 has been charged with DUI and following too close. Photos and more details are on WGMD.com.
Photo courtesy WGMD.com via Mari Lou
MOTORIST RESCUES SNAPPING TURTLE FROM STATE ROAD
It restores one's faith in fellow motorists when we find one of them stopping their car to assist a turtle across four lanes of a busy street. This was on State Road in Rehoboth Beach this past Wednesday.
The motorist, who said she had rescued a couple other turtles recently, asked not to be identified. But she spent a great deal of time and effort coaxing the snapper across the road and from beneath her car, out the other side, up the curb, and finally, under a fence to a safe marsh.
Let's hope he doesn't decide to go back the other direction any time soon?
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THE AQUATIC DREAM COAT MOVIE PREMIERES IN DEWEY!
As many as 90 people gathered at the Dewey Beach home of Yvette and Todd Severn this past Saturday night to view The Aquatic Dream Coat, probably the first movie ever shot entirely on location in Dewey and Rehoboth. It had all the look, feel and excitement of a Hollywood premiere. But this wasn't Hollywood. It was Dewey Beach, on Memorial Day Weekend. Not only was it shot on location with great effort, it features local characters (at least summer residents) who star in and helped produce the film. The local photography is phenomenal.
"Last summer the kids were sitting around doing nothing," Todd recalls, "they wanted to play video games." But he had more constructive ideas for the youngsters. "Guys, you're at the beach," he remembers telling them. "You ought to do something fun!"
One of his sons had just purchased a "crazy coat" from the Good Will. "He paid five bucks for it," Todd said, adding that his sons and their friends were "all making fun of it" and were "going to wear it on the boardwalk to pickup girls."
But Todd had a plan... He suggested they make a movie using the coat. "That weekend," he recalled, "I drove home, back to Baltimore. On the way home, I just wrote the script in my head. I was home alone, got on the computer, typed up a script, came back to the beach, dropped the scripts on their laps and said, 'guys, you're making a movie!'"
They spent weeks last summer shooting the movie and spent the winter editing the project. The 30-minute movie is professionally edited by them and features creative local photography. The film could pass as a professional production, so much so that it is hard to believe this was their first production.
They pushed their skills to the limit in a constructive group project which they have just released on YouTube for public enjoyment.
The actors are mostly Dewey regulars who come from the Baltimore area. Kolia Malizia, on the left, wears the "dream coat." Next to him is Beau Severn, the film's producer and editor, Tyler Judd, the chief production manager, Nick Erni, Hank Severn and Todd Severn.
"We plan to make a sequel of the dream coat for 2019 or we will come up with an entire new plot and script," Todd says. "But we will make a movie this summer, somewhere in Dewey-Rehoboth. And we will do the same thing for Memorial Day Weekend 2019!"
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A BITTERSWEET START TO THE SEASON
It was an uneasy feeling starting the summer season without some of our good friends, but we remember and celebrate their lives. There are many I am probably forgetting, but these come to mind.
James Davis, a newsman and firefighter from Greenbelt, designed banners for this report for years and was a frequent visitor. Sadly, he created his final banner (which appears at the top of this report) just days before his death earlier this month.
Steve Elkins, a pioneer in Rehoboth Beach and another incredible loss. He was one of the first to subscribe to this report when the e-mails started nearly 20 years ago.
Richard Fox Lynam, a legend and entrepreneur, he was almost as familiar a sight in Rehoboth as the beach itself. He had an amazing career and life.
Incredibly, Helen A. Palmer, the mother of Walt Palmer, WGMD general manager, just made it to her 100th birthday earlier this month, becoming a true centenarian. But her birthday party became a celebration of her life. Walt did a marvelous job caring for her. "The goal was for her to reach 100 years old," Walt said. "Mom made her own plans only two days following her 'celebrated' birthday."
Ian Mathew Thurman, Suzanne Thurman's son, also passed earlier this month. He had a lifelong love of animals and nature found in coastal Delaware.
Please remember them and their families in your prayers.
LEWES MEMORIAL DAY PARADE
Photo courtesy Rick Holmes via David Koster, Portraits In The Sand
FIRST WEEKEND UPDATE FOR 2018!
Thank you for your continued support. Please keep the e-mails, photos, articles, announcements and news releases coming.
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SUSPECTED FATAL DRUG OVERDOSE IN O.C.--- Ocean City police were called to the ocean block of Saint Louis Avenue just before 11 p.m. this past Thursday after an approximately 50-year-old man was discovered dead by a roommate. Lindsay Richard, police spokeswoman, says "CPR was initiated by officers then taken over by EMS but they were unable to revive the victim. Preliminarily, the investigation leads detectives to believe that this was a drug overdose but an autopsy will be completed, to include toxicology."
HOLIDAY TOWS IN REHOBOTH BEACH--- Tow trucks were requested to remove seven vehicles this past holiday weekend from the streets of Rehoboth Beach. Five were illegally parked blocking driveways and two others were parked on the roadway at Oak and Surf Avenues. This does not include tows made from private property.
FATAL MOTORCYCLE CRASH IN O.C.--- A 43-year-old motorcyclist was killed after he collided with a SUV on Coastal Highway at 77th Street around 12:35 p.m. this past Saturday. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The northbound lanes were closed for about three hours during the investigation. See WGMD.com for details.
MAN KILLED IN OCEAN VIEW BIKE ACCIDENT--- A 76-year-old Ocean View male bicyclist was struck, critically injured and later died after he was in an accident with a Subaru Forester on Atlantic Avenue around 10 a.m. this past Saturday. He was flown to Christiana Hospital where he eventually succumbed to his injuries. No charges have yet been filed against the driver. More info has been posted on WGMD.com.
EMS CALLED TWICE FOR FISHHOOK INJURIES--- Twice this past Saturday, EMS crews were called for men with embedded fishing hook injuries. The first was for a 28-year-old man around 12:10 p.m. near Tower Road in the Delaware Seashore State Park. He had a fishhook embedded in his big toe, but ended up going to the hospital on his own. Around 4 p.m., a 41-year-old man caught a sharp hook in his right leg in the Bethany area. He was taken by ambulance to the hospital.
MAN TRAPPED UNDER HOUSE TRAILER, ASSISTED OUT BY FIREFIGHTERS--- Lewes firefighters responded around 8:30 p.m. Sunday to Hickory Road in Tall Pines after a 20-year-old man became "egressed challenged" and was caught under a mobile home for about 15 minutes. He was not injured and firefighters were eventually able to encourage him to crawl out on his own.
WHALE SPOTTED OFF DEWEY BEACH ON MEMORIAL DAY--- Around 2:30 p.m. this past Monday, beach goers and lifeguards reported spotting a whale, maybe a humpback, as close as 20 yards from shore in the area of McKinley Street and Read Avenue. Anybody get photos?
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