Elderly Driver Killed 10, Injured 68 -- What If He Had Alzheimer
During the summer of 2003, an elderly driver in his eighties, one George Weller, plowed through a Los Angeles-area market, killing 10 people and injuring 68 others. Witnesses reported that Weller, observing an attempted rescue of someone trapped under his car, seemed annoyed that people hadn't gotten out of his way.
The incident, which took place on July 16, 2003 at the Santa Monica Farmers' Market, caused the highest number of pedestrian fatalities from a traffic incident in California history, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Fast forward to the fall of 2006, with Weller's trial coming to a close. In October, Weller was found guilty of 10 counts of vehicular manslaughter. As reported in the Times, Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley said recently that Weller still had not accepted responsibility for his deadly acts:
"I haven't seen anything that would suggest remorse on his part. I haven't seen it from his lips," Cooley said. "What I've heard from the defense attorneys is so vague and ambiguous and inconsistent I can't rely on it."
Recently, George Weller was sentenced to probation but required to pay the families a lot of money as restitution.
An Alzheimer's Connection?
I have been listening to numerous radio interviews and watching the message boards, and I am so surprised that no one is mentioning the high probability that Mr. Weller is a victim of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Since nearly half of all people age 85+ suffer from Alzheimer’s, and Mr. Weller was so illogical and irrational (a warning sign of AD) at the scene of the accident -- "They should have gotten out of my way!" he exclaimed — I wish the victims’ families could understand Alzheimer’s so they wouldn’t be so tortured. Perhaps then they could begin to accept why Mr. Weller has not shown any remorse and was not there in the courtroom to say he was sorry.
I am very happy that Mr. Weller’s estate has to pay restitution to the victims’ families, because I believe who is really at fault for this tragedy is Mr. Weller’s family. He had had several car incidents before this, and they must have known he shouldn’t be driving anymore, but they probably didn’t want to be the bad guys nor be a taxi service for him.
Now their inheritance is going to go to the victims' families, when it would have been much cheaper had they gotten him off the road, put "The Club" on his steering wheel, risked his anger, and hired a limo to take him wherever he needed to go.
Alzheimer’s is now a top killer in L.A. County.
Jacqueline first wrote about this heart-breaking tragedy back in October of 2005.
You can learn more about Jacqueline and find information about her book at ElderRage.com.
Published On: December 04, 2006