Case of woman buried alive by tractor on Ocean City beach dismissed by judge

A federal court has dismissed a lawsuit filed after a woman died when she was buried alive on an Ocean City beach in 2017.

A medical examiner ruled that 30-year-old Ashley O’Connor died as result of asphyxia due to suffocation after a tractor buried her on the beach.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Woman's body found on beach in Ocean City, Maryland

The newspaper The Daily Times  reports that attorneys representing Ocean City and the victim's mother filed a joint motion Tuesday stipulating the dismissal of the claims with prejudice. It doesn’t say whether there was a settlement, but documents filed earlier this year stated both parties had made "substantial progress toward resolution" and were hopeful the matter could be resolved soon.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Woman found dead on Ocean City beach died from accidental suffocation, officials say

In the lawsuit filed in 2019, Gayla Lutyk and her attorney say town workers' negligence caused her daughter, O’Connor, to be trapped in the sand in 2017. The lawsuit alleged that workers didn’t investigate whether anyone was on the beach before twice driving a tractor over the Plano, Texas, woman as it covered holes. The suit sought $1 million in damages.

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Ocean City officials had stated that a medical examiner ruled O’Connor’s death accidental, caused by asphyxia due to suffocation.

Edward Brown, attorney for Lutyk, declined to discuss the case when contacted Tuesday. Bruce Bright, who represented Ocean City, couldn’t be reached for a comment.