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Seatbelts saved victims’ lives in two-car crash, police say

(July 12, 2013) Ocean City Police credited seatbelts with saving the lives of four passengers in a vehicle that flipped Tuesday in a two-car crash at the intersection of North Division Street and Philadelphia Avenue at the base of the Route 50 bridge.

The two cars traveling south on Philadelphia collided around 3:15 p.m. after one attempted to make an illegal left turn from the right lane. The second car, traveling south in the left lane, flipped on impact.

Crowds gathered to watch police, paramedics and firefighters extract the passengers from the overturned car.

The driver sustained the brunt of the injuries because of the way the car flipped, OCPD Public Affairs Officer Michael Levy said, and was flown to the Shock Trauma center at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore by a Maryland State Police helicopter. The driver was in stable condition Wednesday afternoon, police said.

The three passengers, all adults, were carried by ambulance to Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury and were released Tuesday evening.

“Seat belts save lives and yesterday’s crash is an example of how important it is to simply buckle up,” said the police department’s new Chief Ross Buzzuro in a release Wednesday.

“If they had not been wearing seatbelts, obviously this would have been a lot worse,” Levy said.

No passengers were seriously injured in the at-fault vehicle. Driver Raymond Gallo, of North Hampton, Pa., was treated for minor injuries on site. He said he was traveling with his wife, Jami, two daughters and two friends and none of the passengers were injured.

Gallo was charged with failing to yield right of way and making a left turn from an improper lane position.

Within an hour of the crash, Gallo’s vehicle was being towed from the scene and firefighters were sweeping debris including paper plates, a lantern and fishing rods from the street where the car had flipped. The crash had blocked some traffic from both directions on the Route 50 bridge, but the only signs of the scene as close as Second Street were flashing blue lights.

Firefighters and police watch as a car overturned in a two-car crash Tuesday at the intersection of Philadelphia Avenue and North Division Street is pulled upright. All four passengers were wearing seatbelts, which helped save their lives, Ocean City police said.

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