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Elderly Man's Car plows through Farmers Market 8 confirmed Dead

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  • Elderly Man's Car plows through Farmers Market 8 confirmed Dead

    Do you think that there should be a maximum age limit to be allowed to drive. Or at least have a medical Exam. I personally think the elderly should be strictly screened medically . They do pose a risk to people on the road due to medical reasons. Any other opinions










    From the Los Angeles Times

    Car Plows Through Santa Monica Farmers Market

    By Jesus Sanchez
    Times Staff Writer

    July 16, 2003, 3:01 PM PDT

    A car barreled through a popular farmers market near the Santa Monica Promenade at about 2 p.m. today, leaving eight dead and more than 25 injured, according to Santa Monica police and fire officials.

    Television images of the scene in downtown Santa Monica showed scores of injured lying on the street amid a jumble of crushed canopies, produce and flowers strewn along Arizona Avenue between Fourth Street and Ocean Avenue, near the city's popular Third Street Promenade.

    Los Angeles County Fire Inspector Edward Osorio said about 25 pedestrians were injured.

    "We heard there were 25 pedestrians down, through the radio dispatch, though it's not a definite number," Osorio said.

    The injured were lying down on a red tarp as they awaited treatment in a light rain at a triage center where ambulances, firetrucks and other emergency vehicles had descended.

    According to television accounts, a burgundy-colored automobile traveling westbound on Arizona Avenue at a high rate of speed "just mowed people down," one person told NBC-TV. An elderly driver was seen being taken away from the vehicle according to TV reports. A man was on top of the hood and another woman was trapped underneath when it came to a stop, witnesses said.

    "No one could get out of the way," one woman told NBC-TV. "Down the street you could hear people screaming."

    Ronald Gaba, who works for Acadie restaurant on Arizona Street said he was working inside when he heard screams from the sidewalk.

    "During the time, there was a lot crying," Gaba said. "I came outside and saw one body covered by a cloth. I can't describe what is happening, it's something I've never seen before. I don't know who would do this kind of thing."

    The incident lasted only a few seconds.

    "Some people couldn't even attempt to get out of the way," Soussan said. Others were struck by the car and rolled from its hood, he said.

    The Wednesday market occupies two blocks along Arizona Avenue in the oceanside city, bisecting its popular Third Street pedestrian promenade. It draws 9,000 shoppers.

    Witness David Allwas told KABC-TV by telephone that he was in a nearby bank when the car plowed through the market.

    "My friend was at the ATM and I heard it and I turned around and all I saw was this ... red car, just go right through the crowd, I mean there were people flying anywhere, I was shocked," Allwas said. "I had to call my parents just to get a grip."

    He said the driver of the car was a man in his 70s and it looked like he might be having a heart attack.

    "His arm was straight on the wheel and his body was stiff," Allwas said.

    "You just have to pray because I saw this little girl get CPR and I saw this other woman who I think died," he said.

    He said he saw 10 to 12 people bleeding and injured.

    "I saw it right there, bam. I just missed it by a few seconds. And I was devastated, I couldn't breathe," Allwas said.

    "There were people bleeding everywhere. ... There were people crying everywhere," he said.


    _ _ _

    Associated Press contributed to this report.
    Copyright © 2003, The Los Angeles Times

  • #2
    Personally, I say 70 and get rid of the license. I only hope that I am willing to do it myself.

    Unfortunately, the politicians are more worried about their jobs than public safety and welfare so this issue will never get touched. Her in Mass. the elderly have to go through an eye exam I believe every year but no testing of their driving abilities. People over 65 are as much of hazard to themselves and others as those around the age of 18 due their failing health and the againg process's affect on teh body. Driving is not a right, it is a privilege and too many people think otherwise.
    "Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like." Will Rogers

    The borrower is slave to the lender. Proverbs 22:7 - Debt free since 10/5/2009.

    "No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session." - New York Judge Gideon Tucker

    "As Americans we must always remember that we all have a common enemy, an enemy that is dangerous, powerful and relentless. I refer, of course, to the federal government." - Dave Barry

    www.daveramsey.com www.clarkhoward.com www.heritage.org

    Comment


    • #3
      those older then 70 should have to go and do a driving test every year.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by DaSharkie
        Unfortunately, the politicians are more worried about their jobs than public safety and welfare so this issue will never get touched.
        The politicians are not worried about their jobs, they just don't want to lose their license in 10 years when they would all be too old to safely operate a vehicle.

        Comment


        • #5
          NINE dead..........Old man goes home

          SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) - A car driven by an elderly man
          plowed through a crowded farmers market Wednesday, killing nine
          people - including a 3-year-old girl - and injuring up to 45
          others.
          Eight victims were pronounced dead at the scene and a ninth, a
          50-year-old man, died at 9:36 p.m. at St. John's Hospital, said
          hospital spokeswoman Barbara Bishop. Fourteen other people were
          critically injured, Police Chief James T. Butts Jr. said.
          Authorities said the 86-year-old driver, identified by family
          members as Russell Weller of Santa Monica, told them he may have
          hit the gas instead of the brake. His family issued an apology
          Wednesday night.
          "Mr. Weller and his family want to express their deepest
          sympathies to the victims and their families of the tragic accident
          earlier today," Weller family attorney Jim Bianco said in the
          statement. "This was an unintentional and unfortunate accident.
          Mr. Weller is very shaken up, but his thoughts tonight are with the
          victims and their families. "
          Witnesses said victims were hurled through the air as the car,
          running down a street closed for the twice-a-week market, smashed
          through tents and boxes of produce shortly before 2 p.m.
          "It was like a hurricane just came down the center of the
          street," said Megan Sheehy, general manager of a nearby
          restaurant.
          Butts said 20 to 30 people had moderate or light injuries. They
          were taken to four hospitals by a fleet of ambulances and rescue
          helicopters. Rain fell briefly as victims were still being removed.
          In addition to the child, the dead included five women and three
          men, according to officials. None of their names were released, but
          Bishop said the man who died at St. John's had been admitted in
          critical condition with a bruised lung, seven fractured ribs and a
          fractured pelvis.
          Four of the nine crash victims admitted to St. John's had been
          released by late Wednesday night.
          Butts said Weller was taken to a hospital for a blood test and
          initial results found no traces of alcohol or psychoactive drugs
          such as antidepressants or hallucinogens.
          The chief said the driver told investigators he tried to stop
          but may have hit the gas instead of the brake. He was not arrested,
          but Butts said investigators were considering whether the case was
          "manslaughter of some type."
          "There may be some negligence as to his capacity to drive
          safely," Butts said, adding that Weller did have a valid driver's
          license.
          Weller was allowed to leave police headquarters by late
          afternoon. Walking unsteadily with a cane, he hugged and smiled at
          people who picked him up from the police station. When a reporter
          placed a microphone in front of him he said could not comment.
          Mary Roney, who has lived two doors down from Weller and his
          wife for 30 years, said he has never had any trouble driving and
          she did not know of any health problems.
          "A more careful, gentle, loving person you'll never find,"
          said Roney, who described him as active in the community, including
          serving on a library board and tutoring students at Santa Monica
          High School.
          Butts said he did not have an estimate of the car's speed.
          Witnesses said the 1992 Buick was moving very fast down the three
          downtown blocks of Arizona Avenue that were closed for the street
          market.
          "Sixty miles per hour and it wasn't slowing down. It was
          flying. And then people down, dead and everything," said David
          Lang, manager of a shoe store along the market route.
          "I heard a car just hit, bang, bang, bang," said Mojgan Pour,
          38. "I heard people screaming. By the time I looked, I never even
          saw the car. I tried to help a man and he died while I was helping
          him."
          Bahram Manahedgi, 50, said one person was on the hood of the car
          when it finally came to rest, and a woman was crushed beneath it.
          Manahedgi said that when he went to pull the driver out, "he
          was an old man. His eyes were open and he was alive. I said, 'Do
          you know what the hell you did?' He said, 'No.' I just opened the
          door, I pulled him out."
          A crowd gathered around the car and "wanted to beat him up,"
          Manahedgi said. "I said, 'He's an old man, leave him alone."'
          The car was extensively damaged, including a smashed front end
          and windshield. What appeared to be shoes were on its roof.
          Jessie Moio, 15, of Santa Monica described seeing a woman
          screaming in terror by a child lying under a yellow sheet. "We
          later just saw there was blood all over her white dress," Moio
          said.
          Ronald Gaba was working inside Acadie restaurant on Arizona
          Avenue when he heard screams from the sidewalk.
          "During the time, there was a lot of crying," Gaba said. "I
          came outside and saw one body covered by a cloth. I can't describe
          what is happening, it's something I've never seen before."
          The market, which takes place Wednesdays and Saturdays, bisects
          oceanside Santa Monica's popular Third Street pedestrian promenade
          and is near the famous Santa Monica Pier. It draws thousands of
          shoppers.

          (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
          Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
          Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

          *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
          On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

          Comment


          • #6
            The politicians are not worried about their jobs, they just don't want to lose their license in 10 years when they would all be too old to safely operate a vehicle.
            Actually, seniors are the most active and reliable voting block any election, local, state, or federal. Because of this, any law affecting them is put through a barage of examinations and if it hurts them they come out against it. This is where the premiss of my statement comes from.
            "Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like." Will Rogers

            The borrower is slave to the lender. Proverbs 22:7 - Debt free since 10/5/2009.

            "No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session." - New York Judge Gideon Tucker

            "As Americans we must always remember that we all have a common enemy, an enemy that is dangerous, powerful and relentless. I refer, of course, to the federal government." - Dave Barry

            www.daveramsey.com www.clarkhoward.com www.heritage.org

            Comment


            • #7
              Medical emergencies happen to everyone, at any age. Vision is a great test to keep with anyone over 65. We do have to respect those who have so much time on this planet, though. This is a tough topic.
              ~Kevin
              Firefighter/Paramedic
              --^v--^v--^v--^v--
              Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong
              Dennis Miller

              Comment

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