Sidewalk-Jumping Driver Claims Children He Hurt Were “Reckless”

This fall, 90-year-old Edward Nelson lost control of his vehicle, jumped the curb, and pinned two six-year-old twins against a wall with his BMW SUV in Menlo Park, California.

Collision scene: In October a 90-year-old driver struck three boys walking on the sidewalk in Menlo Park, California. Now the driver claims the boys were behaving "recklessly." Image: ##http://www.paloaltoonline.com/news/2013/12/31/driver-responds-to-lawsuit-over-menlo-park-crash-that-injured-6-year-old-twins## Palo Alto Online##
Collision scene: In October a 90-year-old driver struck three boys walking on the sidewalk in Menlo Park, California. Now the driver claims the boys were behaving “recklessly.” Image: ##http://www.paloaltoonline.com/news/2013/12/31/driver-responds-to-lawsuit-over-menlo-park-crash-that-injured-6-year-old-twins## Palo Alto Online##

One of the twin brothers suffered a broken arm. The other was hospitalized in critical condition; he wasn’t released from the hospital until five weeks and multiple surgeries later. A third brother, 9 years old, was also injured in the collision.

Perhaps you would expect Nelson to be ashamed? Beg the family for forgiveness? Not so much.

In response to a lawsuit from the family, Nelson’s attorney has accused the boys of “reckless, careless and negligent” behavior. According to The Almanac, the family is seeking damages from Nelson, a retired attorney, for the injuries and emotional trauma the boys suffered. Some of the injuries may be permanent, they say.

Nelson’s attorney claims the boys, “knowing the probable consequences thereof, placed themselves in a position of danger.” And that the family failed to “reasonably mitigate” damages they sustained.

Meanwhile, The Almanac reports, Nelson’s license was confiscated after the crash and he was ordered to undergo an examination with the DMV. The Almanac reports that he only faces “a possible infraction” from local law enforcement since he was not intoxicated and his license was valid.

  • Eric Bunch

    Walking on the sidewalk is putting oneself in a position of danger? Wow. Perhaps putting yourself behind the wheel of an SUV at the age of 90 is the real position of danger.

  • Robert Wright

    It’s yet another example of the tendency to think vulnerable road users can safely be blamed any time they’re injured, wherever they’re injured: http://invisiblevisibleman.blogspot.com/2013/09/falling-scaffolding-sidewalk-driver-and.html

  • Adam Herstein

    What else is the sidewalk for but for walking on? It’s perfectly reasonable to walk on the sidewalk and not expect some moron to drive up onto it and hit someone.

  • bobster855

    We don’t let anyone under the age of 16 drive, but there’s no upper age limit. After a certain age, reflexes and eyesight begin to diminish and the driver becomes a menace. Lawmakers ought to consider a law requiring not only an eye exam, but also a driving test when a person reaches the age of 80, and require the tests be repeated every two years. After age 85, it should be an annual test. And at age 90, a doctor’s certificate ought to be required certifying that the person is fit to drive a car. This is not age discrimination.

  • The FAA won’t let commercial pilots fly after 60, why are we letting people older than that drive without medical certification and frequent retesting of ability?

  • Apparently moving outside anywhere without a protective armored cocoon is “placing oneself in danger” these days, instead of the way people get from one place to another. By this standard walking from your parking spot to your final destination is a death-defying feat. The sad thing is that walking from your parking spot to your final destination has become a “death-defying feat.”

  • MBDElf

    A random guess would place the on-road population of drivers in America at about 190 million; I’m guessing about 175 million of those are, in some way, contributors to the pervasive attitude about driving in this country. When stopped for speeding, running a red light/stop sign, or some “minor” infraction, how many DON’T say something like, “Don’t you have anything better to do than hand out BS tickets? Why aren’t you our busting drug dealers or something?”

    One of the stupidest things ever said, much less embraced, was “DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF.” Excuse me, but how BIG does it have to get BEFORE we start to “sweat” it? This old man needs to STOP DRIVING; if those had been MY kids, HIS family would be suing me…………

  • Anon

    It’s just standard legal language in this situation. His lawyer would be remiss if he didn’t say those kinds if things.

  • I suppose one could say that parents are reckless, careless, and negligent if they let their kids walk on sidewalks as long as the general public holds drivers to such low standards. After all, what’s wrong with jumping the curb with your BMW? Can’t these damn kids run fast enough to get out of the way?

    Sure, I suspect Mr. Nelson’s attorney is blowing smoke and attacking with a “up yours” defense. Let’s see what a jury thinks. I say that with some trepidation, though.

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