Archive for Monday, May 21, 2012

Car crashes through pet store on 23rd Street

May 21, 2012


Sherry Emerson was on her way to work at her Lawrence pet store on Monday morning when she got a call from one of her employees.

“You may want to come down here,” an employee told Emerson, who owns the Pet World store at 711 W. 23rd St. “A lady just drove her car through the front window.”

Kim Murphree, a Lawrence Police spokeswoman, said that an 88-year-old Lawrence resident was apparently trying to park her car when she hit the building. Two plate-glass windows and a door frame assembly were damaged in the crash.

No people or animals were hurt. Police suspect that the crash was caused by the driver mistakenly applying the gas pedal instead of the brake. No citations were issued at the scene, Murphree said, but police are investigating.

Emerson said a glass company was able to repair the damage enough that the store could be boarded up with plywood and locked for the night.

The car hit a steel beam that likely prevented any further damage to the store after it stopped the car from moving more than a foot inside the store. The impact of the crash moved a front counter about a foot back from its original position.


OPColt 5 years, 11 months ago

I'd say the cause was more likely because the driver is 88 years old, haha. But in all seriousness, Its good to hear that nobody was hurt.

gsxr600 5 years, 11 months ago

If we're going to continue to stereotype, can we at least be accurate and say no female, from johnson county, in a soroity, under the age of 25 be allowed to drive?

Jayhawk_4_Life 5 years, 11 months ago

odd enough to make you accelerate into the front doors?

Jayhawk_4_Life 5 years, 11 months ago

odd enough to make you accelerate into the front doors?

Jean Robart 5 years, 11 months ago

Yes, though I love to shop for my birds at Pet World, their parking lot is terrible.

JackMcKee 5 years, 11 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Amy Heeter 5 years, 11 months ago

Glad tbd critters are safe. Yes parking lot is strange. I often wonder why they have a curb enclosing it.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 11 months ago

I suspect the curb is there to slow people down, so they don't crash their cars through the front of the store.

Amy Heeter 5 years, 11 months ago

I was speaking of the curbs enclosing the parking area. Not the curb in front if the store.

overthemoon 5 years, 11 months ago

But without that 'island' curb, people could get a running start when crashing into the store!! ;- )

Charlie Sabotage 5 years, 11 months ago

I would think the most plausible idea (from back when it used to be a fabric/sewing shop, even) is so that people backing out do not run the back sides of their cars into traffic pulling in off Louisiana St. Since that is a thru-way to different stores in the strip.

chootspa 5 years, 11 months ago

They don't cause nearly as much damage to the front of pet stores.

gsxr600 5 years, 11 months ago

But they sure cause a mess on the pavement.

julz 5 years, 11 months ago

I opened this article just to find out where the pet store on 23rd was. Last time I checked, Pet World was located in a strip mall parking lot off of Louisiana.

DillonBarnes 5 years, 11 months ago

Pet World 711 West 23rd Street Lawrence, KS

Liberty275 5 years, 11 months ago

I hear Pet World is going to be featured on this week's episode of "When Pet Stores Attack".

Rick Aldrich 5 years, 11 months ago

my youngest daughter and i were having breakfast at IHOP about 5 years ago when a retired couple decided to drive into the east side of the restaurant. no one was hurt luckily however the car came thru the wall and moved 2 tables. the guy said he thought he was hitting the brake but instead was flooring the gas.

Liberty275 5 years, 11 months ago

I'm glad they missed your daughter. How close was the car able to get to you?

somedude20 5 years, 11 months ago

"the crash was caused by the driver mistakenly applying the gas pedal instead of the brake. No citations were issued at the scene"

Boy, if every there was a case for initiative driving, this is it. Happy no one was hurt, rather lucky that no one was hurt. I bet if a teenager had driven through the building, they would have received a ticket

yourworstnightmare 5 years, 11 months ago

I hope this episode once and for all exposes the sexting while driving epidemic among the elderly.

Sucks for Pet World, by all accounts a top-rate pet store. Throw them some patronage.

tomatogrower 5 years, 11 months ago

The bus system is why I'm retiring in Lawrence. I am not going to be one of those old people who keep insisting that they can still drive. I'll sell the car and use the bus and/or the senior center shuttle. Know your limitations people.

kernal 5 years, 11 months ago

One of the hardest things for many elderly folks to do is give up the car keys. It's like giving up their independence.

I'd sooner be a passenger of my 85+ year old aunt than most younger people who text, talk on their cell phones, eat and put on make-up while driving 75mph down K10.

jonas_opines 5 years, 11 months ago

I'd rather not be a passenger in either case, personally. Although, I don't know your aunt, so I guess I'm really referring to my 90+ grandpa, who just did the same thing and hit a car (not a pet store), not too long ago. He and his wife talked it over afterwards, and when he couldn't explain why it happened, they made the decision that they shouldn't be driving anymore. I suppose they could have just dismissed it against the need for their independence and general inconvenience, but they are considerate enough people to realize that the independence and convenience of the potential victims of their next accident, which could include property damage, injury, even death, outweigh their own.

Young people get in more accidents because of a lack of experience. (that and the cellphone etc. crap, but let's not pretend that's at all limited to young people) They drive more, gain experience, and become better drivers. There is a path to improvement.

The elderly get in more accidents because their bodies are giving out, rate dependent on the individual. There is no path to improvement, here, it's only going to get worse.

I'm not advocating a forced removal of elderly folks ability to drive in any blanket way, but it is an issue that should be properly understood and addressed.

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 11 months ago

Please do not use the word independent every time you want to excuse bad behavior. Once you are sixty-two you should be tested every six months to see if you should drive. Those over seventy should pay more insurance.

ForThePeople 5 years, 11 months ago

I've always thought folks should have to renew their license every year after sixty five. While the texting is a huge issue with young people, I have to say it's the elderly drivers on the road that scare me most. Personally I feel she should have been ticketed at the very least. My guess is that her insurance will skyrocket as a result.

bender 5 years, 11 months ago

You might want to check out some stats on accident rates by age ( Drivers under 24 are more dangerous than those over 75, and the 65-74 age group is the safest of them all.

gatekeeper 5 years, 11 months ago

Thank you! My mother is 77, still drives and is a much better driver than most on the road. I make sure to ride with her every couple of months so I can make sure she's still doing ok behind the wheel. She mainly just drives to the store or church. I so hate the B.S. on here about taking the keys and testing everyone over 65. It's different for all people. I could see having a driving test every couple of years once you hit 75+, just to make sure reflexes and stuff are still good enough to drive.

I can say from commuting to JoCo every day that there are a ton of middle aged drivers that suck and shouldn't be on the road. Lots of idiots that probably wouldn't pass the driving test if they had to take it right now.

jonas_opines 5 years, 11 months ago

You might look at my posts below. Statistically speaking, you're only seeing the middle aged drivers because the elderly aren't actually on the road. Not being on the road, they can't drive like idiots themselves.

pace 5 years, 11 months ago

I wish some parent would take the time to ride along with their kids,bout six months after they get their ride, to check out how they are driving. The pull out of the driveway a lot different than they handle it on the road. Maybe Dad could explain how zig zagging wilding in traffic to get to the light faster ain't smart. But he might of showed them that maneuver.

jonas_opines 5 years, 11 months ago

That's an interesting find, thanks.

One thing I think might be missing from this, though, is the number of accidents per miles driven. I have little doubt that the most dangerous group is young people, but I think there is cause to suspect that while the rate of licensed drivers stays the same largely as age increases, the amount of time that the elderly sit behind the wheel goes down substantially. You take the average age of retirement, and those people won't be driving to work anymore, every day, so no more commuting miles. As they progress in age, it's also reasonable to suspect that some family chip in (as its been done in my family, my wife's family, my friend's family) to do some of the other driving -- to the store, out to eat, to the movies, that sort of thing.

I would suspect, in other words, that the people in the age group of 25-55 or 65 are the ones who spend quite a lot more time in their cars getting to places than those above that threshold, and as such would have more exposure to wrecks.

Just a thought.

jonas_opines 5 years, 11 months ago

But really, if we're going to require testing to keep our licenses, we should just require testing to keep our licenses, for all age groups, at certain predetermined intervals. Because, as mentioned above, it's absolutely person per person, and people both learn and forget at individual rates.

/not that such would hold all the answers either. I doubt anybody's going to be performing a driving test with an instructor in their car, while talking on their cell phone.

Bob_Loblaw 5 years, 11 months ago

Agreed......If Lawrence wants to attract more people of a certain age (they say they do) where the mental faculties are "starting to go".......we should expect more things like this to happen. The very old and the very inexperienced at driving should easily be shown the same level of caution. The difference is that the elderly usually vehemently assume they know what they are doing.

Flame away....

blindrabbit 5 years, 11 months ago

Bet the owners are glad those BIG tortoises had a adequate shell.

jonas_opines 5 years, 11 months ago

Whelp, found those statistics myself. And yes, people over the age of 65 drive half the miles annually as those who are between 20-55. 55-65 drive about 70% of the miles of those between 20-55.

So yeah, adjust those numbers for 65 up by two times, and you get a feel for how often people over 65 get in a wreck. Which is about the same rate, incidentally, as 35-44 for nonfatal wrecks. But their fatality accident rates, per those stats linked by blender above, wind up more than 2 times higher than most of the other age groups.

Kids, of course, get in the most wrecks driving the fewest miles. Per these stats. But I did find a white report from 1990 (i.e. before cell phones), that on a per mile basis, the youngest drivers had an accident rate of 3.3 times the average, while those over 74 had an accident rate of 2.0 times the average, per mile driven.

jonas_opines 5 years, 11 months ago

Forgot to link the white paper.

Fatality rates for accidents were also listed as 3.2 times the average per mile driven for youths, and 3.8 times the average per mile driven for 74 up. But I suspect that, in many cases, those killed in the latter's wrecks were the elderly drivers themselves.

gccs14r 5 years, 11 months ago

Since the license renewal interval was stretched out to six years a few years ago, I think they should include a road test. And after 70, the interval should be cut to four years with a road test, and after 80, every two years unless the driver has two recordable accidents in a year, in which case reduce the interval to annually. After 90, the road test should be annual, unless there are two recordable accidents in a year, then reduce the interval to six months.

Jean Robart 5 years, 11 months ago

Actuqally, gccs14r, at age 65, the licesing term for drivers is four years, as opposed to the six year term younger than that.

pace 5 years, 11 months ago

Did I miss the make and year of the car? That could be factor, as long as we are in the heavy judgement thing.

Mark Currie 5 years, 11 months ago

I am in my late 50s & have serious health problems that will result in my death sometime in the next few years. I drive OK, but not as good as I used too. I used to drive large trucks, I wouldn't even think about trying it now. Some days I don't have the energy to drive, so I don't. I also doubt that I could "powershift" a muncie 4 speed like I did back in the day. I know my limitations & stick to them.


verity 5 years, 11 months ago

I'm moving on toward that age---actually past where frankie8 thinks I should be tested every six months. (Sixty-two seems is a little arbitrary.) I think that gccs has a good plan.

However, that doesn't solve the problem. Without a way to get where people want/need to go, I think many will still drive---how many people drive with suspended licenses now? How many drive when they've been drinking---and think that they are doing just fine? We know that quite a lot do.

I know that my time is coming and it is scary because there is not much in the way of alternatives. I don't even particularly like driving and generally walk when I can. I would be glad to give up driving if there were other decent means of transportation. Unfortunately, with the sparse population that Kansas has, public transportation just isn't a good option most of the time and is not going to be in my lifetime.

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 11 months ago

Well, you know any age picked would be arbitrary like the legal ages for drinking, voting, driving and such. You are right about the problem with public transportation and people not always having family, and if they do the family does have to work and they have their own lives and can not always be available.

verity 5 years, 11 months ago

I shouldn't have picked on you. Yes, any age would be arbitrary---I should have said that I think 62 is a little on the low side to be picked for onset of incompetent driving. If you're young, it seems very old, but when you're past it, it doesn't seem so old.

Since there are incompetent drivers at any age, maybe we should all have to take driving tests every couple of years and the tests should actually test your driving skills---which neither the car or the motorcycle tests that I took did.

Jean Robart 5 years, 11 months ago

Why was she still driving at age 88? Where are her family members that are not checking on her driving skills? And if she can't tell the difference between gas pedal and brake pedal, maybe somebody better take her license.

Katara 5 years, 11 months ago

She may not have family around to do that.

verity 5 years, 11 months ago

I don't know that legally her family could do that---as long as the state allows it. It is often a very difficult situation for family, especially if not everybody agrees.

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