Skooter reporting 08/30/12
At an elementary school in South Los Angeles, 11 people, including nine children were struck by a backing car driven by a 100-year-old man, authorities said.
When firefighters arrived the scene, four of the children were in critical condition however they were stabilized and were in critical condition at a hospital, city fire Capt. Jaime Moore said. Everyone was expected to live, he said.
While the group of parents and children were buying snacks from a sidewalk vendor, the powder blue Cadillac backed slowly on to the sidewalk towards the crowd. The crowd began banging the car’s windows and screamed for the driver to stop, but not before some of the kids were entrapped under the car, witnesses said.
One child remained serious but steady, another would stay for observation overnight and another would probably release later in the day. Others were being treated for minor injuries and can go home, LA County-USC hospital spokeswoman Rose Saca said.
The elderly driver was identified as Preston Carter and was being very cooperative, police said. Carter has a driver’s license and will turn 101 years old on Sept. 5. Carter told police that his brakes failed and was out of control. He felt sorry for the incident and added that he wouldn’t do that for nothing on earth. He offered his sympathies for them.
Police Capt. George Rodriguez said he believe Carter miscalculated on his part. He was pulling out of the grocery store parking lot, but instead of backing into the street, he backed onto the sidewalk. The gentleman is elderly, he had some impairment on his decision making obviously, Capt. Rodriquez said. Carter was not under arrest.
In 2003, an 86-year-old man erroneously stepped on the gas pedal of his car instead of the brake and then lost his nerve, smashed into an open-air market in Santa Monica. Ten people were killed and 63 injured.