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LOS ANGELES (AP) - The screams of women and children didn't cause a 100-year-old driver to stop as he backed his large powder blue Cadillac onto a sidewalk across from an elementary school and hit 11 people, including nine children.

So people began pounding on his windows screaming for him to stop, a witness said.

Alma Solache said she was buying her children an afterschool snack Wednesday just before the accident outside a South Los Angeles school.

"He was not paying attention," said Solache, 24, adding that it was at least two or three seconds before the vehicle halted and people began pulling children out from beneath the car.

Four of the children were in critical condition when firefighters arrived but they were stabilized and were in serious condition at a hospital, city fire Capt. Jaime Moore said. Everyone was expected to survive, he said.

Children's backpacks, shoes, candy and loose change were strewn about the scene behind a discount grocery store across from Main Street Elementary.

Police said the driver, Preston Carter, was being very cooperative and drugs or alcohol were not a factor in the crash.

Carter talked to television reporters after the crash some five miles southwest of downtown Los Angeles. He said he has a driver's license and will be 101 years old Sept. 5.

"My brakes failed. It was out of control," Carter told KCAL-TV.

Asked about hitting the children, Preston said: "You know I'm sorry about that. I wouldn't do that for nothing on earth. My sympathies for them."

Carter was pulling out of the grocery store parking lot, but instead of backing into the street, he backed onto the sidewalk, police Capt. George Rodriguez said.

"I think it was a miscalculation on his part. The gentleman is elderly," Rodriguez said. "Obviously he is going to have some impairment on his decision making."

Elderly drivers have been involved in other tragedies. In 2003, an 86-year-old man mistakenly stepped on the gas pedal of his car instead of the brake and then panicked, plowing into an open-air market in Santa Monica. Ten people were killed and 63 injured.

According to California's Department of Motor Vehicles, people over age 70 must renew their driver's license in person, rather than via the Internet or by mail. Older drivers can also be required to take a supplemental driving test if they fail a vision exam, or if a police officer, a physician, or a family member raises questions about their ability to drive.

Rodriguez said the collision was being investigated as an accident, and Carter was not under arrest. He has a valid driver's license, Rodriguez said.




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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 187 Comments
      Bobbi
      • 2 Years Ago
      I will take a senior citizen behind the wheel anyday over aa texting, flighty teenager who is also looking in the mirror
      LL
      • 2 Years Ago
      We were hit with a $500 insurance increase for my wife's Honda. Both of us have a perfect driving record with no claims ever. Shocked by this increase I went online to get some quotes for her car. The two sites I first visited were actually more expensive than our new rate, but then I found ( http://tinyurl.com/BestInsuranceQuotes ) I got a quote within minutes and ended up saving over $300 on our car insurance!
      Mandrake
      • 2 Years Ago
      You ever notice that accelerator pedals sticking, or gear lever malfunctions, always happen in folks 80 and up? When it takes longer to get in a car than it does to take a ****, time to hand over the license.
      Doug
      • 2 Years Ago
      Don't you just love the Liberal Mecca that is California? Surely we don't want to violate his rights to drive at 100 yrs old. Don't want the ACLU and the AARP on your ass. Geeeez...
      • 2 Years Ago
      People over the age of 80 should not be allowed to drive, period. Even when they aren't killing or maiming people, they are making the road extremely unsafe for the rest of us. Also, I think everyone over the age of 65 should be required to retake the full driving exam at least every few years.
        cat5400
        • 2 Years Ago
        I agree about being retested, but I don't think that age should be a factor. My father in law drove until well into his 80's and he was a sharp as a tack.
      Lt Dan
      • 2 Years Ago
      Sad when one gets old and loses sence of day to day things but all things come to an end as should driveing when people start getting run over.Just seems like it was yesterday when grandpa couldn't remember where he left his car and we had to take away his keys.
      pj512
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm not going to judge this man because I don't know him, but conventional wisdom tells us that 100 is way too old to be driving. And why do old people feel the need to buy big cars? My friend, who is just 65, traded in her little Saturn for a Cadillac Deville. She is 5'1" tall. At any rate, if the DMV was stupid enough to give a 100-year-old a driver's license, sue them.
        Donna
        • 2 Years Ago
        @pj512
        Older people like bigger cars because they are easier to get in and out of. Very simple.
      LL
      • 2 Years Ago
      We were hit with a $500 insurance increase for my wife's Honda. Both of us have a perfect driving record with no claims ever. Shocked by this increase I went online to get some quotes for her car. The two sites I first visited were actually more expensive than our new rate, but then I found ( http://tinyurl.com/BestInsuranceQuotes ) I got a quote within minutes and ended up saving over $300 on our car insurance!
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm 71 and have driven truck for 35 years and the last 5 years I drove a transit bus until I retired a year ago and my licence was renewed until 2017. Do the math I'll be 76. When I need to renew I don't have a problem going down in person and take a driving test. If I can't pass then I should not be driving. If I pass then I would have no problem taking a test every 2 years BUT DMV should give me a break on the cost.
      rocky26900
      • 2 Years Ago
      This guy should be strapped to an execution table in the nearest prison and put to death immediately. ..because there is no excuse whatsoever for this kind of nonsense...and no one who does something like this should be coddled and protected for even one second either. He's lived long enough already anyway. And for those people in the DMV that gave him a drivers license at 100 years of age, they should be executed too.
        Dawnierenee
        • 2 Years Ago
        @rocky26900
        WOW now THAT...is mental illness at its' finest, folks. He shouldn't be killed for being stupid, but he should be punished. Should we put you down when you're 100 years old? What excuse will you make the next time you do something stupid, and should you be executed then, too...? God, imagine what kind of world we would live in if we were executed when we made a mistake. It would be an empty one, except for the Church of Christ because they think they're perfect lol
        mykirbyroo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @rocky26900
        Aren't you just a big ray of sunshine? Hope you don't live that long. And if you do, I sure hope you're homebound and never leave the house. Good luck.
        Donna
        • 2 Years Ago
        @rocky26900
        With your logic, then, anyone who has ever been guilty of drinking and driving, taking drugs and driving, have had multiple speeding tickets and caused any kind of wreck, etc. should not have a license. Wow, maybe we can go back to horse and buggy....or, better yet, the bicycle. Sheese, what a crock!!!
        Lindy
        • 2 Years Ago
        @rocky26900
        wow, harsh.....too bad he doesn't have kids who became the parent when he became senile...hope you live long enough yourself to learn some compassion
      • 2 Years Ago
      take there car keys away from them.
      • 2 Years Ago
      there should some type of testing at this late of age
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