Santa Monica farmers market tragedy

Santa Monica farmers market tragedy

“An 86-year-old man drove his car the length of the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market early Wednesday afternoon, apparently hitting freeway speeds as he plowed through a crowd of peak summer shoppers.” At least eight are dead, 50 hospitalized, many with serious injuries.

We all read about such ghastly events. Yet when they happen someplace we know, as in this case for me, well, then it’s not just pictures in the newspapers. I know the area well, and have shopped at that Farmer’s Market So far, no one I know was hurt or killed. Which will be no consolation to those who know the injured or knew the dead.

I don’t get it. Yes there are ancedotal accounts of elderly people saying they lost control of a car, confusing the accelerator for the brake. But this assault-by-car lasted for 2 1/2 blocks. The driver went around the barricades blocking off the street, then continued at “freeway speeds” hitting people. He’s 86, raised in Santa Monica, so he’s probably been driving for 60+ years. Stepping on the brake when there’s a problem is virtually instinctual.

How can you keep accelerating for 2 1/2 blocks when you are hitting people? My parents are well into their 80’s, and they are as baffled by this as anyone else.

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