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Menifee Big Rig Accident Involves Elderly Driver

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Richard Salyer, 84, of Sun City was killed after he reportedly pulled away from a stop sign in Menifee directly into the path of a big rig driven by 22-year-old David Padilla of Pomona, according to this news report. Padilla reportedly did not suffer major injuries, but Mr. Salyer was trapped in his Ford Ranger, went into full cardiac arrest and died at an area hospital.

According to California Highway Patrol Officer Ron Thatcher, Mr. Salyer pulled away from the stop sign at the intersection of Sherman Road and McCall Boulevard. Padilla was unable to stop his big rig in time and ended up broad siding Mr. Salyer’s pickup in the fatal intersection accident.

My condolences to the family of Mr. Salyer. It is indeed fortunate that Mr. Padilla was not seriously injured in this auto accident
Based on initial reports, it appears that the California auto accident was Mr. Salyer’s fault. Mr. Padilla, as an accident victim, should get a thorough physical check up to make sure he hasn’t suffered any internal injuries. Not all auto accident injuries are apparent. Several auto accident victims, who don’t feel any pain soon after an accident, later find out that they have suffered internal injuries or other neck or spinal injuries. It is always a good idea to get checked out if you have been involved in an auto accident.

This fatal California intersection accident also reminds us of the danger presented by senior drivers on our roadways. According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, traffic collision rates for both male and female drivers increases after they turn 70. Often, seniors don’t pay attention to their failing health or feel that they have to continue driving even if they are unable in order to maintain their independence. The results, however, can be catastrophic. In this case, the elderly person died. But there have been many cases in Los Angeles and Orange Counties when errors by senior drivers have turned out to be fatal for other motorists, passengers and pedestrians.

Since California’s DMV statistics clear show that drivers over 70 have a higher rate of accidents, it is time for the DMV to perception, reaction and drive test elderly drivers every couple years. Does the DMV have to wait for a slew of lawsuits?

There is a comprehensive website for senior drivers, which offers a lot of safety tips, educational material and resources.

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