National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

6 Hurt, 1 Critically, When Elderly Driver Plows Into Sidewalk Cafe

View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    Six people were injured, two seriously, when a car driven by a 90-year-old man slammed into the outside street seating at the University Cafe in Palo Alto during lunchtime Thursday, police said. Jean Elle reports.

    Six people were injured, two seriously, when a car driven by a 90-year-old man slammed into the outside street seating at the University Cafe in Palo Alto during lunchtime Thursday, police said.

    The crash was reported about 12:30 p.m. at 271 University Ave., outside the University Cafe, not far from the Stanford University campus.

    Officers responded to the scene after receiving several 911 calls about a car that had driven into a building, injuring several people. Four people sustained minor injuries, including the driver. Two people were hospitalized in serious condition and would require surgery, police said, who added that one of those victims was a pedestrian, the other had been sitting at the cafe.

    The elderly driver accidentally drove up onto the curb and struck five people, Palo Alto police officials told reporters. Officers on the scene confirmed the driver's age.

    Metal sidewalk cafe tables were seen askew on the sidewalk, but the crumpled 2010 Nissan four-door sedan hadn't actually plowed into the restaurant. Police said the driver was apparently trying to parallel park when he accidentally hit the gas, striking another vehicle before he drove onto the sidewalk, stopping short of the building.

    Police said the driver and two other patients with minor injuries were expected to be released from Stanford Hospital sometime Thursday night.

    "It was crazy," Elizabeth Johnson, 19, a journalism student at Northwestern University who is interning at a start-up.

    She had been in a nearby Apple store when she heard of the crash. When she exited, the area was "full of ambulances and police cars." She said the entire windshield of a four-door silver car had been smashed.

    At this point, police said, the driver isn't facing any charges or citations.

    The cause of the collision is under investigation. Police said there is no indication that drugs or alcohol played a role in the crash.

     

    Bay City News and NBC Bay Area's Mark Matthews and Gonzalo Rojas contributed to this report.