Office of the State's Attorney

Worcester County, Maryland


March 18, 2024

On March 14, 2024, Russell Kimball, a 63-year-old resident of West Ocean City, Maryland, was sentenced to 15 years in the Division of Corrections after being convicted of negligent homicide while under the influence and failing to remain at the scene of an accident involving death. Kimball entered a guilty plea to both charges on February 28, 2024. The Honorable Beau H. Oglesby of the Worcester County Circuit Court handed down Kimball’s sentence, imposing a 10-year sentence for the negligent homicide charge, and a consecutive 5-year sentence for failing to remain at the scene of an accident involving death. Judge Oglesby suspended all but 5 years of the sentence and placed Kimball on 5 years of supervised probation upon his release.

On October 6, 2022, Maryland State Police troopers responded to Grays Corner Road for a report of a pedestrian struck by a vehicle. First responders arrived to find the victim, Terri Lynn Wattay, lying unresponsive in the grass off of the roadway, and immediately arranged for her to be flown to the University of Maryland’s Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, Maryland, due to the extent of her injuries. Ms. Wattay succumbed to her injuries while at Shock Trauma and was pronounced deceased.

During their investigation, troopers found a passenger side mirror and a reflective side marker lying in the middle of the road, and then noticed a white Chevrolet Suburban missing a side mirror and reflective marker and with damage to a front headlight parked in a nearby driveway. Troopers knocked on the door at that address and made contact with Russell Kimball, who indicated that he had driven home from a local diner earlier that evening, and that he had swerved to avoid hitting a dog that was in the roadway.

Kimball failed field sobriety tests and submitted to a breath test, which showed his blood alcohol content was .12. Investigators were also able to obtain receipts from the diner showing that Kimball had purchased 6 shots of vodka and 2 beers prior to driving home that evening. Evidence obtained from other witnesses established that Kimball knew he had struck a woman with his truck and that just minutes after the collision, Kimball had tried to convince his roommate to lie to police about who was driving. Maryland State Police Crash Team’s investigation confirmed that Ms. Wattay had been left seriously injured and lying on the side of the road for at least 39 minutes while Kimball was at his residence nearby. Kimball never called for help or attempted to render any aid to Ms. Wattay during that time.

Worcester County State’s Attorney Kris Heiser commended the Maryland State Police for their excellent investigative work, and the Crash Team for their detailed analysis of the scene. Heiser also applauded Assistant State's Attorney Pamela Correa who prosecuted the case. Heiser stated, “It is always a tragedy to see another life lost due to drunk driving. In this instance, the Defendant’s failure to remain on scene and failure to seek help for the victim during those critical minutes after the crash were certainly aggravating factors considered by the Court. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Ms.Wattay’s family and loved ones, whose lives are forever changed as a result of this senseless crime.”