Ocean City councilman and business owner Scott Ping was charged with driving while intoxicated earlier this month after injuring himself in a car accident along Ocean Drive in Egg Harbor Township, police said Monday.
Ping, 64, was driving south on the road between Somers Point-Longport Boulevard and the Ocean City-Longport Bridge about 11:30 p.m. Friday, March 15, when his Chevrolet Camaro left the road and scraped the passenger side against a guardrail, Egg Harbor Township police said in a statement.
The vehicle continued the length of the rail and then traveled into a marsh, where it sat disabled. Police responded and EMS crews transported Ping to Shore Medical Center in Somers Point with a head injury.
Ping was later issued several summonses for DWI, reckless driving and failure to maintain his lane, police said. EHT Officer Brian Dickson investigated the crash, and Officers Matthew Hann and Richard Vogt assisted.
Ping did not immediately return requests for comment Monday at his home phone and via email. On Sunday, a post on his Twitter account read, “With God’s strength I will some day be a better man. Thanks to my family.”
Other council members said they learned of the accident and subsequent charges this past weekend and declined to comment on the matter when contacted Monday. Council President Michael Allegretto and Councilman Keith Hartzell, who were both first elected alongside Ping in 2006, said it was too early to speak about the issue.
If convicted, Ping would not be forced to forfeit his position, according to the city’s administrative and ethics codes. Ethics Board Vice Chairman Stanley Pszczolkowski confirmed that, based on the basic facts of the case as explained by police, this would likely not disqualify Ping from his position if he were found guilty of the allegations.
The co-owner of Boyar’s Food Market in Ocean City, Ping first ran for election in the city in 2004 and lost. Two years later, he won an at-large seat, and he narrowly won re-election to a four-year term in 2010.
Ping graduated from Ocean City High School in 1966. He and his wife, Gail, have three daughters. He has been involved in community groups, including serving on the Ocean City After Prom Committee since 1994 and on the fundraising committee for Shore Medical Center’s Stainton Society, according to the city’s website.
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