The family of a Texas woman who was found buried to death inside a 3-to-4-foot hole that had collapsed on the Ocean City beach in 2017 is suing the town, claiming the hole she was in collapsed because of a tractor that drove over it.
The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court on Wednesday seeks $1 million in damages, saying Ashley O’Connor died because “a tractor pulling a long, heavy drag, failed to exercise due diligence” and “drove over and/or drove the drag over Ashley O’Connor (not once, but multiple times), entrapping her.”
O’Connor was found dead by beachgoers July 31 on the beach near 2nd Street.
An investigation by Ocean City police could not determine what caused the hole to collapse but ruled “no evidence of foul play was found in the investigation.”
The medical examiner ruled her death accidental and said alcohol was a factor.
The lawsuit puts the blame on the town, saying that the municipality failed to train its employees to investigate holes before pulling a drag over them, did not warn visitors like O’Connor about the drags, and did not prevent access to where the tractors would be working.
A spokeswoman for the town did not immediately return calls for comment.