At least one person sustained injuries in a San Diego car accident after an elderly man driving the wrong way on the 5 Freeway struck several vehicles including a gas truck. According to a 10News report, the injury car accident occurred the morning of February 4, 2011, when 83-year-old Clarence Kinney drove his Ford F-150 pickup truck south in the northbound lanes at about 90 mph. Kinney, who officials say was driving on a suspended license, hit the freeway’s center median before striking a Land Rover and a gas tanker truck. Kinney was injured as was a passenger in the Land Rover. No one appears to have sustained life-threatening injuries.
It is indeed fortunate that no one was fatally injured in this horrific car accident, which occurred at a high speed. I wish the injured passenger the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.
Car Accidents Involving Senior Drivers
California now has almost 3 million drivers who are 65 years or older, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles. A recent study by Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety finds fatality rates for drivers begin to climb after age 65. In 2005, about 11 percent of fatal car accidents in the United States had involved drivers 65 or older.
Holding Drivers Accountable
Based on this news report, officials are saying that Kinney was driving on a suspended license. We do not know why his license was suspended or if he suffered from a medical condition. However, it is evident that he should not have been driving. Officials say immediately after the crash, Kinney was confused as to where he was going or why he was even there. Clearly, this is a person who should have turned over his car keys to family members.
The Department of Motor Vehicles will now have to evaluate if Kinney should be issued a new driver’s license. I trust they will take a close, hard look at Kinney’s driving record and his medical condition before making that decision. It could make the difference between life and death. I can understand the importance of the elderly maintaining their independence and their quality of life. But that should never come at the cost of public safety.
Injured victims in such cases would be well-advised to seek the counsel of an experienced San Diego personal injury lawyer, who will analyze all aspects of the incident and ensure that the negligent parties are held liable. The best personal injury law firms will always offer a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation to injured victims and their families.
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