Numerous cases of elderly drivers crashing into parked cars, store fronts, and rampaging through mall parking lots have not deterred seniors from driving when they no longer have the awareness to do so. The most recent accident could have easily proved fatal, but as luck would have it, no one was injured.
Yesterday a 93-year-old drove his 1996 Ford 40 feet into a toy store at Preston and Royal shopping center. The car smashed the outer window, crushed the arts and crafts table, destroyed the girls’ display and plowed through a children’s play table where little kids often play during while their parents shop. Fortunately, there were no children there the day that old man ran into the store
There was a woman talking on her cell phone whose back was turned to the front window just before the crash. When she heard the glass breaking, she made a run for it. She was able to make it out of the car’s destructive path.
The driver and a woman sitting in the passenger seat were so upset by the crash that they initially did not get out of their car. Two Samaritans had to pull the elderly couple out of the car.
An employee at the store, Veronica Flores, told the media, “It is a miracle it happened when I only had three people here.” She also remarked on an accident a few years ago where people drove through the store. The car “exploded inside the store” and those inside were killed.
Please, remember to speak to the seniors in your family and take their keys away if they begin to display any signs of no longer being competent to drive. It may be a tough discussion, but not nearly as tough as having to deal with an accident victim’s family after a crash caused by your love one. For advice on how to approach your elderly love ones check out the AARP site at http://www.aarp.org/relationships/caregiving/news-01-2011/knowing_when_to_letgo.html.