Mesa Woman, 78, Drives Into Fabric Store, Runs Over Four People

Categories: Bad Drivers
mesa-fabric.jpg
Mesa Police Department
Jo-Ann Fabric in Mesa.

A 78-year-old woman who thought she put her Toyota SUV into park outside a Mesa fabric store yesterday was incorrect, and ended up driving quite a distance into the store, hitting three people.

According to Mesa Police Sergeant Tony Landato, the woman hit four people after her SUV went into the Jo-Ann fabric store at 6136 East Main Street.

The people who were hit -- three customers and an employee -- were all around a cash register when the woman came in with her SUV, just before 10:30 a.m.

One of the victims is an 89-year-old woman, who is currently in surgery, and has life-threatening injuries, Landato says.

Police don't think impairment's a factor for the driver, and the incident's not being "criminally pursued," he adds.

joann-front.jpg
Mesa Police Department


Send feedback and tips to the author.
Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.


My Voice Nation Help
20 comments
Dwina Gliondar
Dwina Gliondar

LOL!! Great response, Zachary!! Took me a second read to get it ~ great!

mikenkendra
mikenkendra

Hey how about this we start a new program that allows me to slap you face everytime one of you "young punks"is texting, checking your facebook, or putting on makeup while driving, oh yeah probabaly wouldnt work so well cause I'm sure your all perfect drivers!!! Ha what a joke, show some respect people, the elderly have earned more of a right to be on the road than any of you!!  How about some other reasons the elderly might drive slow, hmmm lets see........maybe because they respect others, respect themselves, their cars, and know how to manage time better.  Mike 31  Wisconsin

Paul Ross
Paul Ross

who would have thought there were 4 people in a fabric store?

Jo-Ann Stores
Jo-Ann Stores

Hi there! Thank you for taking the time to post. Our sincere concerns are with the injured persons, and our priority remains the safety and well being of our team members and customers. At this time, we know little information as to the cause of the incident. We will continue to cooperate fully with local law enforcement, and defer all questions to the Mesa police department. - Angela @ Jo-Ann

sarum
sarum

Agree with most posters below.  But I had a senior total my car when it was parked in a parking lot.  I tried waving to her - people all over the parking lot were watching her driving and knew an accident was in the works.  Anyways, my efforts to get her attention were dismissed by her as obviously she considered me just a young punk and she needed to concentrate on her business of demolishing my car.  This senior was driving a van taking many other seniors who could no longer drive to get groceries.  So yes, more services that takes seniors off the road needs to happen.  Many seniors can no longer afford the price of a cab for everything they need to do.  Nor are they well enough to spend hours in a group van that goes all over.  Plus many seniors fade in and out and they might be well enough for the test but next day be questionable again.  I don't want to remove driving from those still capable but too many refuse to admit that they should no longer be driving.  Lack of services has left many desperate.  

I knew some senior sisters - one was blind - the other had Parkinsons.  Between the 2 of them they could get to the store.  The blind one got behind the wheel and the Parkinsons one carefully described to her exactly how much to turn the wheel and how much pressure to put on gas and brakes.  The overall cost and potential cost to everybody needs to be considered here.

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

There should be a criminal investigation into this, the criminality of issuing a drivers license that has a 20+ year expiration date and no retesting.

Sorry folks, but it's a fact that as you get older, the majority of the populations attention to detail gets sloppier, elderly are on more debilitating drugs than most heavy users, etc... 

Driving is a privilege, not a right and it needs to be acknowledged it's dangerous and gets more dangerous the older the driver gets - over 60 there should be mandatory re-testing of drivers at an ever shrinking scale (i.e. test at 60, 65, 70, 74, 78, 81, 85, 88 and so on)

Just drive around the valley for a snowbird weekend and you see why this is needed.

JohnQ.Public
JohnQ.Public

It seems crass to make fun of this when an 89 year old woman is in surgery and fighting for her life, but the first thing I thought of is, "I've fallen and I can't get up."

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

Maybe we need to redefine "impairment".

sliperymike
sliperymike

fogey on fogey crime is rampant in our beloved state

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@mikenkendra  If you're over 65 and still able to drive well, then you should be willing to take a written and driving test every few years to prove it.  In that case, you could have a "normal" license.

Driving more slowly than the flow of traffic is not showing respect.  It's dangerous.

JohnQ.Public
JohnQ.Public

@mikenkendra Yes, all that should stop too.  But that doesn't excuse older drivers who should no longer be driving who are still on the road. 

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@Flyer9753  The problem, of course, is that the legislature wants to encourage people to retire here, away from family that could drive them to their appointments, and knowing that they'll never have to ask neighbors for a ride is an incentive.

Maybe the solution is to issue "Retiree" license plates and driver licenses.  They don't have to renew their licenses and can keep driving for the rest of their lives, but can't leave the limits of their retirement community or drive over 25mph.  Or park facing a storefront.

jbunny
jbunny

@JohnQ.Public The first thing I thought was that she made it 89 years before randomly getting creamed while buying quilting material, really?? She must have been like "fuck my life." If it were me I'd chalk it up to a good run and call it quits. Might as well go out with a good story.

That said, I hope she's not in pain and getting stabilized quickly. Elderly women can be tough. My grandma was in her 80's when she survived crashing her Volvo into a semi. She was in a body cast for months. A year later she was recovered when she fell down her basement steps and busted every bone in her face...and survived facial reconstruction. Believe me, when that one happened I got pretty good mileage out of "I've fallen and I can't get up." 

:-)



danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@valleynative keeping the elderly from driving is working well in Arpaio's case. all the parking lot boulders are safe now

JohnQ.Public
JohnQ.Public

@valleynative @Flyer9753 Can we also:

1. Ban them from using any public roadway between the hours of 7:00 AM and 9:00 AM and from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM.

2. Ban them from any lane other than the lane closest to the curb.

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@valleynative @Flyer9753  

Yup - once again money wins over common sense and sanity, but then again, what else is now in Arizona....

JohnQ.Public
JohnQ.Public

@valleynative Anything to get them off the road during rush hour would be most appreciated - no exceptions.  Besides, most of them are done with the early bird special by 4:30 so we can keep them off the road from 4:30 - 6:00.  I'm still OK with that.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@JohnQ.Public We might need some exceptions, such as for going to a worship service, medical appointment or an early bird special.

Or maybe we can just rely on the market to fill the need with shuttle services.  Job creation!

The lane restriction is good.  It may force them to go through more intersections to get to their destination, but they'd be out of the way.

I was originally also thinking that they shouldn't be allowed any passengers other than family, but maybe it would be better to require at least one passenger, so there's somebody to say "Oh, dear! We're still moving!  Step on the brake!  The brake!"


Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...