Police have identified the pedestrian killed Sunday night in a traffic accident on Route 13 across from Salisbury University as Eric Steven Parkinson of Delmar.
The 20-year-old had been a student at Wor-Wic Community College for the past two years and had planned on someday becoming a math teacher at the college level, said his mother, Ronda Parkinson.
"He was terrific. He had a beautiful personality. He was always living life so comically. Everything was just so light to him," she said when reached Monday afternoon, holding back tears on the telephone.
Witnesses on the scene at 11 p.m. Sunday night said that Parkinson stepped in front of a vehicle from the median on northbound Route 13, across from the Hardees, while the light was green.
The accident is currently under investigation, but Maryland State Police Sgt. Andre Bratten said there is no evidence at this time that the driver's speed played a role in the crash.
"The only cause noted is that the pedestrian failed to yield the right of way to the driver," Bratten said Monday.
The area where Parkinson was struck is directly above an underground passage for pedestrians who cross the highway along Bateman Street.
Police identified the driver of the vehicle in the accident as Elida Trevino, 49, of Salisbury. In the crash, her maroon-colored GMC Jimmy sustained severe dents to the hood, and its windshield was shattered in spots.
Emergency personnel found Parkinson about 40 feet from where the vehicle struck him. He was pronounced dead on the scene and then transported to Peninsula Regional Medical Center.
The death toll for pedestrians killed on Lower Shore highways has climbed in recent times.
On May 16, a Stephen Decatur High School student, Matthew B. Barcase, 16, of Ocean Pines, died after being hit when trying to cross Route 50 in West Ocean City.
On Jan. 11, a 40-year-old man was struck and killed by a Jeep Cherokee when attempting to cross Route 13 in Delmar.
In April 2007, an Ohio woman was struck and killed when walking on Route 13 near Laurel. In March 2007, a 20-year-old woman and her 4-year-old daughter died in Pocomoke City after being struck when trying to cross Route 13 in Pocomoke City. That same day, a 36-year-old woman and her 3-year-old daughter died after being hit when crossing 62nd Street in Ocean City.
Ronda Parkinson said her close-knit family is having a difficult time coping with her son's death.
Parkinson is a 2007 graduate of Delmar Senior High School, his mother said.
In addition to graduating with academic honors, his mother described him as one of the greatest baseball players in the school's history. He was a first baseman and regular on All-star teams when growing up, she said.
In addition to his mother, Parkinson is survived by his father, Dennis J. Parkinson Sr., his older brother Dennis J. Parkinson Jr., and his sister, Desirae Parkinson, a 10th-grade student.
"To lose our baby is so hard. Everybody loved him," his mother said.