86 yr old plows Santa Monica Market

  1. Did anyone see this. It makes me so sad! So many people died including a 3 yr old. What do you think should be done in regards to people who are older drivers.
    I think a mandatory 6 month to 1 year renewal with written consent to drive from family, friends and doctors.
    I feel so bad for this man, I know he didn't mean to do it, but I think if his reflex were better, he could have done something faster.

    Last edit by iliel on Jul 17, '03
  2. 25 Comments

  3. by   colleen10

    No, I didn't see this til just now. How sad. All those people. I can't believe how many people.

    I do agree that once you hit a certain "elderly" age you should have to periodically retake a driver's license exam.

    That he didn't even stop after the first person or two and that they reported him going up to 60 miles an hour is unbelievable.

    I can't imagine that he was a fine driver and then all of a sudden this happens. Certainly whomever he's had in his car as a passenger the past few times he's been on the road had to have seen something that might tip them off that he shouldn't be on the road.

    I had a boss who was from Florida and he said that he has had two friends of his who have been killed in accidents caused by elderly drivers.
  4. by   colleen10
    Does anyone else live in a state like Pa. where driving is a "privilege" and not a "right"?
  5. by   H ynnoD
    California is the same.Driving is a privilege,not a right.Seen this on the News when it happened.The Driver said he has never had an accident before.They had to lift the car off one lady....Feel sorry for the people and the Man....
  6. by   pickledpepperRN
    It was on local TV news. He was shaken but alert. He said, "the pedal stuck".
    Police believe he hit the gas instead of the brake.
    At his home it came out that he had run into the back of his own garage a couple times recently.

    Nine are now dead, one only three years old.

    Really sad.
  7. by   oramar
    my friend who was only 67 at the time, got his foot stuck partially under the break and partially over the gas pedal, he slammed into his garage three time trying to dislodge it, he kept hitting the break with his other foot but that would only press his foot that was partially on the accelerator down, I think something similar is happening to these elderly people who say the gas pedal stuck, is stuck cause their foot was on it
  8. by   VickyRN
    Definitely after a certain age ALL elderly should be required to pass an annual road and written exam. If they don't pass, they don't drive. This would save a lot of lives. They should also have an annual doctor's or NP's medical clearance to drive.
  9. by   roxannekkb
    But I wonder how "with it" this guy was in general. The LA Times said that first, he has been to this market many times and lived in Santa Monica for decades. So he knows the market, knows where it is and when its held. But according to the story, he was driving home from the post office and then all of a sudden "saw" that the street was barricaded for the market. And he went to brake but hit the accelerator.

    So, what was he doing on the street in the first place? It doesn't sound like he's mentally alert enough to have been driving. The police released him pending investigation, but it said nothing about taking away his driver's license, at least until they sort it out. This guy is dangerous. Who is keeping an eye on him?

    And the story said that they tested him for presence of psychiatric drugs and alcohol, but nothing about a psychiatric evaluation--which he should have had.

    9 dead and dozens wounded. They expect that 3 or 4 others may not make it, including a 7 month old baby. This is so sad, so tragic...and I don't think that this guy should have just been sent home. At least hold him for a thorough evaluation for few days, to begin with, just to see what you're dealing with.
  10. by   nursegoodguy
    There are a lot of people behind the wheel that should not be!
    My personal issue is with drunks on the road and believe me where I am they definitely out number the elderly...
    As far as the elderly drivers... I don't know? What do you do? Who decides when it's time to take mass transit? How many people would still drive even if they had their licenses revoked? The drunks here do it all the time!
  11. by   colleen10
    I was watching "The Today Show" this morning. They did a short re-cap and update of this story.

    Sounds like the number killed has gone up to 10 people.

    A few things that I noticed.

    1) there was a home video (don't know when it was taken) of how this man had driven his car up and over a wall/embankment to his neighbors house in an attempt to pull into his own driveway. It was the same burgundy sedan involved in this latest accident.

    2) Did anyone catch the video of him getting into and out of the police car? Did you notice the use of his cane and the unsteadiness that he seemed to have in trying to get his legs into and out of the back seat? While I don't think that anyone that uses a cane or is handicapped in some way shouldn't be allowed to drive it was apparent to me that he had weakness and perhaps not complete control of his lower extremeties. Perhaps he shouldn't have been on the road without some sort of assistive device in his car that would compensate for this. Maybe hand controls rather than a gas and brake pedal.

    If he had that much trouble getting into and out of a car then I can see how he could press the wrong pedal or somehow get his feet caught.

    3) I agree with Roxanne. You have to wonder his metal capacity and how "with it" he was in the first place. My understanding is that this is a huge market that occurs twice a week.
  12. by   SmilingBluEyes
    JUST tragic. NO other words for it.
  13. by   colleen10
    Hmmm..... This was just in an article in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.

    "Unlike some other states, Pennsylvania does not require a mandatory driving test for older drivers. Instead, it has two more limited approaches.

    If doctors think any of their patients are driving risks because of vision or other health problems, they are required to report that to the state, regardless of the patient's age.

    The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation also gives extra scrutiny to some older drivers whose relatives have notified them that they are worried about the older person's driving ability, and it sometimes checks on older drivers based on police accident reports.

    In total, those methods result in PennDOT's rechecking the license status of about 40,000 drivers each year. Of those, more than 70 percent have their licenses restricted or revoked."

    Scary to think that they restrict/revoke the licenses of roughly 28,000 elderly people a year. That's a lot of people that shouldn't be on the roads.
  14. by   pickledpepperRN
    When my Grandma was 79 she had cataract surgery. After recovering she went up a small curb while parking and hit the meter.
    She got out of the car, threw her keyes on the sidewalk, and said, "That could have been a kid! I am not driving anymore!"