Update: Elderly Driver Hits Students, Adults Crossing Meridian Street

Three Yorkdale Elementary School students are believed to be among those injured.

Firefighters taking the injured to hospital from the scene of the accident. (Photo credit: Michael Nogueira/Sir Michael's Party Rentals).
Firefighters taking the injured to hospital from the scene of the accident. (Photo credit: Michael Nogueira/Sir Michael's Party Rentals).


Five family members were injured Friday, two of them critically, when they were hit by an SUV driven by an 87-year-old man as they crossed a Highland Park street near Yorkdale Elementary School, a Los Angeles Fire Department official said.   

The incident occurred at 8:12 a.m. in the 900 block of North Avenue 57, Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Erik Scott said.   

The collision left a 59-year-old grandmother and a 10-year-old girl in critical condition, LAFD Battalion Chief Steve Ruda said. A 32-year-old woman who is the daughter of the 52-year-old woman and her two sons, ages 7 and 9, were listed in serious condition, Ruda said. The 10-year-old girl was a cousin, he said. All three children were believed to be Yorkdale students. 

“The grandmother was taken to Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena and the other four people were transported to LAC-USC Medical Center, but the driver was not injured,” Ruda said.   

The driver—identified in broadcast reports as 87-year-old Luis Carbajal— ran a stop sign as the family walked from Meridian Street to North Avenue 57 in a crosswalk, LAPD spokesman Richard French told City News Service.    

Carbajal, who stopped after the collision and was cooperating with police, was not arrested, said Lt. Melody Hainline of the LAPD's Central Traffic Division. She did not confirm the driver's identity.   

An area resident told NBC4 Carbajal said his foot “got stuck” and he could not brake. “He stopped in the middle of the street and he was devastated,” Wilson Caraman told NBC4.

— City News Service


An elderly man driving a car allegedly hit a number of students and adults on Meridian Street in Highland Park Friday morning. 

According to witnesses, two students from Yorkdale Elementary School on Meridian Street and three adults were injured in the accident.

The cause of the accident was not immediately known.

An officer at the Central Traffic Collision Division of the Los Angeles Police Department confirmed that the accident occurred on Meridian and Avenue 57. But the officer, who identified himself over the phone only as Aguayo, told Patch at around 9:30 a.m. that he did not have any details of the accident. Traffic officers were still at the scene of the accident, he said.

Yorkdale Elementary School Principal Carol Green told Patch that she and her staff were “gathering the evidence” and that was unable to provide any specific information. “I can’t confirm anything at this point,” she said in response to a question about how many students from her school might have been involved in the accident.

Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council President Michael Nogueira, who happened to be in the area and took the attached photos, told Patch that the injured were taken to hospital in an ambulance soon after the accident, which, he said, occurred around 8 a.m. 

“I believe they were on a crosswalk but there’s no crossing guard there,” said Nogueira, who is also the president of the Eagle Rock Chamber of Commerce as well as the owner of Sir Michael’s Party Rentals on Eagle Rock Boulevard.

The elderly driver appeared to be in his eighties, Nogueira said, adding: “I asked him if he wanted me to call someone for him. He said, No, I’m okay.”

Patch will update this story as further details come to light.

Hooper Humperdink January 24, 2014 at 09:57 PM
Was the driver wearing a helmet? He was probably one of the people holding up a "No Bikes" sign a few months ago with Tom Topping. People complain about jaywalking children and stop sign running bike riders - but look at what happens when a car driver has an oopsie. Bodies and lives get destroyed.
Fernando lopez January 24, 2014 at 10:30 PM
Ahhh pretty sad story. Don't think its an appropriate time for a little campaign. One bad doesn't make another better. Dummies travel in different means of transportion.
La vie en rose January 24, 2014 at 10:48 PM
Why can't we get some laws passed to have elderly people get a driving test every 2 years or so after 65 or 70. Nothing was done after the Santa Monica market incident( an atrocity really), big oversight from the state.Maybe it's because we are governed by old farts...
Picorian January 24, 2014 at 11:48 PM
Prayers and hope for the people and families involved.
El Cid January 25, 2014 at 12:06 AM
A few years ago, Yorkdale and Luther Burbank Middle School had crossing guards to ensure their safety. I like to know who made the decision to no longer fund the crossing guards at these school sites. And, sadly my heartfelt prayers for a speedy recovery for the injured adults and children. Parents, please take the time to remind your child and yourself, to stop at crosswalk intersections and make sure the vehicle(s) stop. Please do not assume the vehicle driver will stop. Time after time on a daily basis I have witnessed countless children of all ages with or without parents not stop! Again, my prayers and blessings!
family 1st January 25, 2014 at 05:40 PM
the sad part of all this is that I don't think the old guy is to blame, the dmv felt that he is a good enough driver and they gave him a drivers license. I agree with the earlier comment of having the elderly take frequent tests to prove they are competent and safe enough to be behind the wheel. our children will always be eager to cross without looking simply because they are children, we can take precautions to ensure they are a little bit safer though. how about some of the parents who don't work and spend all day sitting around doing nothing, volunteer as crossing guards. I would offer my services to my sons' school (fletcher drive and irving middle school) but I work all day. believe me there are close calls at these schools on a daily basis and the principle at both of these schools will do NOTHING about it. money problems? give me a break, how about the lauds big shots take a pay cut and fund safer schools and the surrounding areas? just saying!!!
bobo January 26, 2014 at 03:41 PM
That's why you need to make sure cars are stopped before you cross the street, not just walk because you have the right of way, like soooooo many people do in this town.
Margarito Martinez January 26, 2014 at 07:06 PM
terrible. the old man looked horrified. tragic all around
El Cid January 27, 2014 at 12:29 AM
The photo credit: " Michael Nogueira/Sir Michael's Party Rentals," is tasteless with the "Sir Michael's Party Rentals." Self-promotion of one's business due to a terrible tragedy is nauseating!
family 1st January 27, 2014 at 01:26 PM
@el cid i agree with your comment about the party rental guy, my relative worked @ that party rental place(i refuse to mention it by name) and the owner was and always has been an absolute douchebag, no class!!! my thoughts and prayers are with all affected by this tragedy!!!
Gordy Gemini Castellanos January 29, 2014 at 05:31 AM
True he is a jerk I've known yhe guy for many years since my dad bought a tire dhop in highland park he used yo take his limos yo put tires on there and I've never liked the big headed jerk!
Adrian Balboa February 08, 2014 at 08:52 PM
In case anyone is interested the city of Los Angeles is supposed to fund cross guards not school districts. http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news/local/los_angeles&id=6779430


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