Vigil for Nacho Mama's Owner Killed Bicycling
Hundreds gathered at O’Donnell Square
By Ron Cassie. Posted on August 25, 2012, 10:30 pm
A couple hundred people gathered at O’Donnell Square Saturday to remember Patrick “Scunny” McCusker, the popular owner of two Canton restaurants, who was killed riding a bicycle in Ocean City Friday night.
McCusker, 49, opened Nacho Mama's 18 years ago and later, Mamas on Half Shell next door, both of which became mainstays of Canton’s revitalization. His wife and two children survive him.
Among those raising a can of Natty Boh in honor and celebration of McCusker was long time friend Dave Claybough. “There was nobody like Skunny,” said Claybough, who knew McCusker for 20 years. “He loved a good adventure and he was generous, always raising money for charitable causes like the Children’s House at Johns Hopkins. And he helped a lot of people in this neighborhood.”
According to an Ocean City police press release Saturday, McCusker was riding a bicycle north on Coastal Highway, in the area of 132nd Street, when he “impacted a city bus that was travelling in the north bound bus lane,” of Coast Highway. Ocean City police are investigating the collision and have not released the identity of the municipal driver.
Those memorializing McCusker at O’Donnell Square included a small of local bicycling activists. Nearly everyone in the city it seems has eaten at McCusker’s restaurants, they noted, hoping, if nothing else, the tragedy should raise awareness of bicyclists on the road among drivers.
‘His restaurant (Nacho Mama’s) was one of my favorites,” said Heather Strassberger of Fells Point. “It was where I went with friends in college and where I had one my first drinks after I turned 21. We don’t know what happened, in terms of this accident and the bus, but there’s a lot of speeding in Ocean City. We need to design roads that slow down traffic and make if safer for everyone. And we need to design roads that are safer for bicyclists and pedestrians.”
Chris Merriam, a member of the Baltimore bicycling advocacy group Bikemore, said he “came to show to support for a fellow cyclist.”
“It happened in Ocean City, but it could’ve happened in Baltimore,” Merriam said. “We have a long way to go before it’s safe to bike everywhere.”
Memorial contributions can be made to the Hopkins Children House’s Believe in Tomorrow Children's Foundation, 6601 Frederick Rd., Baltimore, 21228.
Ron Cassie is a senior editor for Baltimore, where he covers the environment, education, medicine, politics, and city life.