Police investigating a double fatal crash in Altamonte Springs say an elderly woman confused the gas and brake pedals as she approached a busy intersection.
Witnesses later told reporters they watched in horror and helplessness the woman was traveling approximately 60 mph when she plowed into a line of vehicles stopped at a red light. As a result, authorities say, a father and his infant child were killed. The child’s mother is in critical condition, as are two others. Additionally, three other people were injured and had to be transported to the hospital, though their injuries are described as non-life-threatening. In all, five vehicles were damaged. The elderly woman was not injured.
Cases like this are heartbreaking on so many levels. The majority of older adult drivers practice safe habits behind the wheel and would never want to hurt anyone. However, the physical reality of aging means that there are risks posed by some older drivers that put others in serious danger. Those include things like:
- Deteriorating eyesight
- Diminished hearing
- Reduced reflexes
- Declining cognitive function/ dementia onset
- Increased likelihood of medications that may cause drowsiness or impairment