Breaking News Bar
posted: 8/30/2012 9:58 AM

Police: 100-year-old driver hits 11 near L.A. school

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • A Los Angeles City firefighter assists a child, one of eight people injured when a car sped onto a sidewalk and plowed into a group of parents and children outside Main Street Elementary school, Wednesday Aug. 29, 2012 in Los Angeles. The crash occurred at 2:50 p.m., shortly after school had let out for the day, according to a statement from the Los Angeles Unified School District.

      A Los Angeles City firefighter assists a child, one of eight people injured when a car sped onto a sidewalk and plowed into a group of parents and children outside Main Street Elementary school, Wednesday Aug. 29, 2012 in Los Angeles. The crash occurred at 2:50 p.m., shortly after school had let out for the day, according to a statement from the Los Angeles Unified School District.
    Associated Press

  • Preston Carter, left, 100, talks with police officers after police say his car went onto a sidewalk and plowed into a group of parents and children outside a South Los Angeles elementary school, Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012, in Los Angeles. Nine children and two adults were injured in the wreck.

      Preston Carter, left, 100, talks with police officers after police say his car went onto a sidewalk and plowed into a group of parents and children outside a South Los Angeles elementary school, Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012, in Los Angeles. Nine children and two adults were injured in the wreck.
    Associated Press

  • Preston Carter, 100, talks with police officers after police say his car went onto a sidewalk and plowed into a group of parents and children outside a South Los Angeles elementary school, Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012, in Los Angeles. Nine children and two adults were injured in the wreck.

      Preston Carter, 100, talks with police officers after police say his car went onto a sidewalk and plowed into a group of parents and children outside a South Los Angeles elementary school, Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012, in Los Angeles. Nine children and two adults were injured in the wreck.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES -- The screams of women and children didn't cause a 100-year-old driver to stop as he backed his large powder blue Cadillac onto a sidewalk across from an elementary school and hit 11 people, including nine children.

So people began pounding on his windows screaming for him to stop, a witness said.

Order Reprint Print Article
 
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.
Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Success - request sent close

Alma Solache said she was buying her children an after-school snack Wednesday just before the accident outside a South Los Angeles school.

"He was not paying attention," said Solache, 24, adding that it was at least two or three seconds before the vehicle halted and people began pulling children out from beneath the car.

Four of the children were in critical condition when firefighters arrived but they were stabilized and were in serious condition at a hospital, city fire Capt. Jaime Moore said. Everyone was expected to survive, he said.

Children's backpacks, shoes, candy and loose change were strewed about the scene behind a discount grocery store across from Main Street Elementary.

Police said the driver, Preston Carter, was being very cooperative and drugs or alcohol were not a factor in the crash.

Carter talked to television reporters after the crash some five miles southwest of downtown Los Angeles. He said he has a driver's license and will be 101 years old Sept. 5.

"My brakes failed. It was out of control," Carter told KCAL-TV.

Asked about hitting the children, Preston said: "You know I'm sorry about that. I wouldn't do that for nothing on earth. My sympathies for them."

Carter was pulling out of the grocery store parking lot, but instead of backing into the street, he backed onto the sidewalk, police Capt. George Rodriguez said.

"I think it was a miscalculation on his part. The gentleman is elderly," Rodriguez said. "Obviously he is going to have some impairment on his decision making."

Elderly drivers have been involved in other tragedies. In 2003, an 86-year-old man mistakenly stepped on the gas pedal of his car instead of the brake and then panicked, plowing into an open-air market in Santa Monica. Ten people were killed and 63 injured.

According to California's Department of Motor Vehicles, people over age 70 must renew their driver's license in person, rather than via the Internet or by mail. Older drivers can also be required to take a supplemental driving test if they fail a vision exam, or if a police officer, a physician, or a family member raises questions about their ability to drive.

Rodriguez said the collision was being investigated as an accident, and Carter was not under arrest. He has a valid driver's license, Rodriguez said.

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.
    help here