Commuters in Syracuse, NY, got a nasty surprise when an out of control pickup truck barreled down a ramp embankment last month and crashed through their bus.
According to Syracuse.com, 82-year-old Neil Brownell attempted to exit Interstate 81 at Park Street in Syracuse on January 19 where traffic was stopped on the ramp. Confusing his pedals, he put his foot all the way into the accelerator and careened off the ramp and down the embankment toward cross traffic on Park. Brownell then smashed his Toyota Tacoma through a Centro bus that was stopped at the light at the bottom of the ramp.
Brownell was uninjured, but his wife Jerrie who was riding shotgun was taken to a local hospital complaining of chest pains. Several passengers were taken to various local hospitals for minor injuries. One passenger suffered a broken leg and a hand injury. Syracuse Police Department Spokesman Sgt. David Sackett told Syracuse.com Brownell was ticketed for failure to reduce speed on a curve and failure to keep right on a highway.
It's hard to say whether or not Bronell's age was a factor in this crash. That being said, issues surrounding elderly drivers are complex and thorny. While safety and crash data for elderly drivers exists, efforts to improve safety and provide options for elderly drivers are largely piecemeal and often boil down to self-policing. If you feel a family member is getting too old to drive, you can often contact your DMV anonymously and request additional screening for that person.