3 killed, 4 injured as Florida woman loses control of parked SUV

February 7, 2014

An elderly Florida driver is being blamed for the death of three people, and serious injuries to four others. The woman apparently became confused while trying to exit a parking space, and ran over several people as she lost control of her SUV. This sad story may be an example of why some drivers pose a threat of causing a car accident as they age.According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the driver, 79, was at a mobile home park in Bradenton, which is 45 miles outside of Tampa. She tried to pull out of a parking spot, but could not clear another parked vehicle. She put her SUV in reverse, but failed to stop before she hit a group of people behind her. The SUV continued over a curb, through some trees and into a nearby canal.Three women were killed. The four other victims were still alive as of Feb. 2, but the troopers' report said their condition was serious. The deceased women were all senior citizens. If the four other injured are also older, they may have been particularly vulnerable to serious injury.Witnesses told troopers that the driver thought she was in drive, not reverse, when she stepped on the gas. However, it is not clear why she was unable to recognize her mistake and brake before she hit the victims.Without knowing her physical and mental condition, it is possible that the woman's age played a role in this terrible incident. As we age, our ability to drive safely deteriorates in many cases. Many older people no longer have the vision, hearing or reflexes to drive anymore. Source: ABC News, "Police: Alcohol Not Suspected in Fatal Fla. Crash," Feb. 2, 2014

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