OCEAN CITY -- More charges have been levied against an Ocean Pines man who was charged initially with driving while impaired after his pick-up truck struck another vehicle stopped at a red light.
The baby hurt in the crash, 19-month-old Ava DelRicco is clinging to life in a hospital after the December 16th crash. The Facebook page for theDelRicco Benefit Fund provides regular updates as well. Followers there learned Ava was able to breathe on her own, without a respirator, that day.
A fund was set up along with another called the Baby Ava Fund to help gather donations to help Ava's parents -- who are from Selbyville -- stay in Baltimore while their daughter recovers. So far, more than $4,000 have been raised for the Baby Ava Fund.
Police say Andre James Kaczynski had been traveling at a high rate of speed at the time of the crash, which critically injured a 19-month-old girl who remains hospitalized at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. Her mother was driving the car, and was injured as well.
YOUTUBE Tribute to "Baby Ava:"
Officers located an amount of Phencyclidine, commonly referred to as PCP, in Kaczynski's truck after the Dec. 16 crash in the northern part of Ocean City. Police initiated an investigation that resulted in the execution of a search and seizure warrant at Kaczynski's Ocean Pines home, where officers found marijuana and PCP, according to the Ocean City Police Department.
Kaczynski, 47, of 144 Windjammer Road, was arrested Dec. 22 and charged with possession of PCP and possession of marijuana. He was transferred to Worcester County Jail, where he was released after posting bond on Dec. 27.
A March 21 trial date in Ocean City District Court is scheduled, and more charges could come before then, especially if the girl dies from her injuries.
"In that situation, I can tell you absolutely (there will be more charges)," said Worcester County State's Attorney spokesman William McDermott.
Ava, the infant who was injured, underwent an MRI, according to her Aunt, Lisa DelRicco, who has been posting updates on Ava's health on her Facebook page. She wrote that she didn't feel comfortable posting the MRI results, out of respect for her family.
The search and seizure warrant was issued for Kaczynski, his car and his house, according to the statement of charges. Sgt. Jeffrey Smith noted in his report that on the morning the warrant was issued -- less than a week after the crash had occurred -- he was executing surveillance on Kaczynski when he observed him driving his pick-up in "an erratic and dangerous manner," according to the documents. Smith watched Kaczynski drive through two steady red lights, speed and pass a vehicle on the right shoulder of the roadway.
"He was driving in such a manner that I had a hard time keeping him in sight," reported Smith, who said he eventually lost sight of Kaczynski because of his aggressive driving.
410-213-9442, ext. 14