Fourteen people — 11 children and three adults — were injured Wednesday when a 100-year-old driver backed into a group of pedestrians who were waiting to cross the street near an elementary school in Los Angeles.
• A 100-year-old driver tried to back out of a grocery store parking lot and slammed into a group of children near a Los Angeles elementary school.
• Four of the children were pinned underneath the car. Fire officials said 11 children and three adults were injured. Two remained hospitalized in stable condition.
• The driver said his brakes failed. Police thought he may have hit the gas pedal instead of the brake. Investigators will inspect the car for mechanical failures.
• The driver said he would give up driving.
The accident – which drew international attention because of the age of the driver and the number of people injured — occurred at about 2:30 p.m., right after Main Street Elementary School let out, according to an ABC News report.
Preston Carter, who will turn 101 in September, said he had gone shopping at the nearby Food 4 Less grocery store and was backing out of a parking lot to go home at the time of the accident.
He put his Cadillac in reverse, backed out of the parking lot onto 53rd street, and plowed into the crowd on the sidewalk, police Captain Jorge Rodriguez told the Los Angeles Times.
“It was a miscalculation on his part,” Rodriguez said. “He thought he was turning onto the street.”
People were screaming, backpacks were strewn all over the street, and according to witness Alma Solache, there were four children pinned underneath Carter’s vehicle. Solache said Carter then tried to drive his car off of the sidewalk, but stopped when people banged on his window and yelled at him, telling him that children were trapped underneath his vehicle.
Initial reports stated that 11 people were injured, but police said Thursday that 14 people were hurt. Detective John Meneses of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Central Traffic Division told the Times that 11 children and three adults were injured in the accident.
Two of the victims remained hospitalized Thursday, Meneses said. They were reportedly in stable condition.
Carter, who has a valid drivers license and was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol, said his brakes had failed.
“I lost control of the car,” Carter said. “The brakes failed, I think. I’m sorry.”
Police officials also are looking into the possibility that Carter may have mistakenly hit his accelerator pedal instead of the brake when he rammed into the crowd.
After the accident, Carter’s 78-year-old daughter Ella Fleming said the family was grateful that no one was killed in the accident and that her father would not be driving anymore.
“I’m so sorry that it happened,” she told the Times, “and I’m thanking God none of them died.”
Police said no crime was committed and Carter, who has no traffic violations on his record, will not face charges for the accident. Inspectors will examine Carter’s vehicle to determine if there were any mechanical failures.
Los Angeles Pedestrian Accident Lawyers
The trial attorneys at Blackman Legal Group, a California-based law firm founded by renowned trial attorney Clifford Blackman, have successfully represented pedestrian accident victims and their families for 35 years. The nationwide toll-free number to call for a free consultation is 1-866-692-8126.
- • Value: We offer discounted fees to callers who read our blog.
• Experience: Our attorneys are top-ranked.
• Consideration: We advance all expenses on cases. And we never charge a fee unless your case is successfully settled.