printed 11/22/2019


There is no such thing as a good accident but, as happened to me recently, there can be good outcomes, a lot having to do with assistance from others.

Recently, I was entering the four-way stop intersection at Walmart from Route 50 when another driver coming down the service road blew right through at a high speed and removed the front end of my vehicle, causing my airbags to inflate and disabling my vehicle in the middle of the intersection.

Both cars were eventually totaled by the insurance company. The good part is that no one was hurt including, from my inquiry, the other driver.

The fortunate part of this accident for both drivers was that Steve Grunewald, the Ocean Pines fire chief, was following within a short distance behind the other driver and called in the accident immediately.

He also checked to see if we both were OK. Within minutes, Deputy Sheriff Michael Newcomb arrived on the scene whose calm manner and professionalism were comforting.

The Berlin Fire Department was also on scene in minutes and fire police handled traffic control at a difficult and busy intersection.

The fire crew had to first assist the other driver who was trapped in the car.

While I was waiting, another driver who had witnessed the accident stopped and came over to my car and offered her name and number if needed. Her name was Donna … a Walmart employee.

I was eventually able to drive my vehicle slowly, with the front fascia hanging, after failing to remove it myself, into the adjacent parking lot.

While there a young man I only know as Harvey, who worked at the water quality facility in the center, drove over and offered to help me remove the front fascia so I might be able to drive the vehicle but by then I had called the tow truck.

Both Donna and Harvey did not have to stop, take time out of their day and offer assistance but it says a lot about who they are and I certainly appreciate their willingness to do so.

The professionals on the scene were impressive in the handling of their duties which, considering the circumstances, made things go smoothly and safely. A good outcome thanks to a lot of good people.

I have since learned that drivers speeding through the stop sign are not an unusual occurrence at that intersection.

As my insurance adjustor stated; “I can’t believe there is a four-way stop at an intersection with five lanes.”

Having a red flashing light attached to each stop sign especially on Samuel Bowen Blvd. the service road would be a good start in improving safety.

If something is not done to address the problem, next time the outcome might not be so good.

Jack Barnes

Ocean Pines

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