A Smith's employee looks at the damage of an eight car parking lot accident at Castle Rock Square last Thursday afternoon.
An eight car accident rocked the Smith's parking lot on Sept. 18 when an 89-year-old Carbon County resident lost control of his vehicle and collided with six other cars, according to Price City Police Officer Johnny Bowman.
"It was nothing short of a miracle that no one was injured," said Bowman. "That accident took place in the middle of the day when you would expect pedestrians to be loading groceries into their cars but as it turned out no one was hurt."
According to the Price officer, the elderly gentleman came out of his parking stall quickly and proceeded to make a large looping U-turn in reverse moving southbound and striking three vehicles. He then continued the looping turn eventually turning north and colliding with three more vehicles causing the sixth vehicle he hit to jump into the next stall and strike a seventh car.
Bowman and department officials estimated that the gentleman who was charged with reckless driving was traveling in excess of 35 mph in reverse when he stuck the first vehicle.
"When he struck the second set of cars he became engaged with one of the vehicles and continued to apply enough pressure to the accelerator to cause the tires to gouge an inch and a half into the pavement," explained Bowman. "There were actually skid marks that detailed his whole route of travel."
The Price officer had several thoughts about the driving culture Carbon County residents experience as Americans.
"Our culture is taught to drive to the point where it is part of who we are," said Bowman. "Driving is tied to our emotions, it is a source of independence and personality. We drive so much that it is easy to become complacent and comfortable, it is easy to forget just how dangerous an automobile can be."
While Bowman stated that there is certainly no "magic age" where individuals need to be checked for driving competency but he did explain that self awareness and open dialog between families can be the best way to insure the safety of loved ones.
"Everyone involved with this accident has been amazed that no one was hurt," said the Price officer. "Therefore it can serve as a great reminder to anyone who is having issues with driving. I want to be very respectful to our aged population but reaction times can slow with age. We can fix cars but lives are not so easily fixed."
Bowman reminded residents that most accidents do happen at slower rates of speed, around 35 mph and happen mostly on local commuter roads.
When officers feel that there is an issue with someone they have come in contact with, they make a referral to the department of motor vehicles and the DMV handles the situation. The DMV may revoke the person's license or imposing restriction on his or her driving.
"Again a person's license is often their last handle on independence so it is understandable that they would want to hold onto that but self awareness and a care plan discussed within the family is a good idea for everyone in the community," concluded the Price officer.