Home Latest Stories Girl Hit on E-Bike in Ocean City Recovering in Hospital

Girl Hit on E-Bike in Ocean City Recovering in Hospital

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The accident occurred near the Ocean City Intermediate School but was not school-related.

By MADDY VITALE

A local girl is recovering in the hospital after a car and her E-bike collided at the intersection of 18th Street and Bay Avenue in Ocean City on Friday night, police confirmed.

Ocean City Police Chief Bill Campbell said that at about 9:15 p.m. the girl’s E-bike collided with a car driven by a teenager. No names are being released because minors are involved.

“We had a juvenile victim and last night we didn’t know whether or not her injuries were fatal,” Campbell said in an interview. “She spent the night in the hospital and her injuries are non-life threatening.”

Campbell said the girl is a 13-year-old student at the Ocean City Intermediate School. The accident occurred near the school, but was not school-related, he said.

The Ocean City School District sent a message to parents saying that counselors will be available Monday for any students in need of emotional support.

“Please keep the student, family, and all who were involved in your thoughts and prayers,” the district said.

Ocean City police, along with the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office, responded to the scene Friday night. The victim was transported to AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center in Atlantic City for treatment.

Campbell said he could not release further details about the girl’s condition. However, he noted that the outcome could have been worse if she had not been wearing a helmet.

“I believe she was wearing her helmet, and that certainly could have saved her life,” he said.

Detective Dan Lancaster confirmed on Friday, April 26 that the driver “will not be criminally charged or issued any motor summonses at this time.”

As E-bikes have gained popularity, so have problems with them when it comes to both riders and motorists sharing the roadways.

In Ocean City, E-bikes provide a convenient way to get around, especially during the bustling tourism season.

However, in 2023, there were at least two accidents in Ocean City involving children who were injured riding their bikes, police said.

One of them was City Councilman Tony Polcini’s son, JD, who, at the time, was a sophomore at Ocean City High School.

JD Polcini was riding his E-bike to school in November 2023, when he wiped out on wet asphalt while going around a sharp turn near the Post Office at Ninth Street and Ocean Avenue.

JD suffered a punctured liver and a concussion. He was not wearing a helmet when he crashed, his father said. He left home wearing a helmet, but took it off later on when he got closer to school.

Over the past couple of years the city has bolstered its bicycle safety campaign to include E-bike riders in addition to regular bicyclists.

The city’s Community Policing Unit visits schools and educates students on the importance of wearing a helmet and following the traffic laws while riding both E-bikes and bicycles.

Campbell emphasized Saturday that he believed that the girl in Friday’s accident was wearing a helmet and that likely played a vital role in saving her life.

“Certainly it is important to wear a helmet when riding in Ocean City, or riding anywhere,” he said.

In June 2023, Mayor Jay Gillian proposed banning E-bikes from the Boardwalk after listening to complaints from Ocean City residents about teenagers recklessly riding their E-bikes around town and the possibility of them hitting pedestrians on the Boardwalk.

That same month, City Council tabled an ordinance that would have imposed an E-bike ban on the Boardwalk. Council planned to introduce an ordinance to enact a ban, but backed off after members of the public, mainly senior citizens, asserted that responsible E-bikes riders would be unfairly punished for the actions of the reckless ones.