ROY, Utah (ABC4) – A man is in critical condition today after an elderly driver accidentally hit him with her car while he was riding his bicycle in Roy Monday morning.
“The rider of the bicycle was actually ran over twice,” Roy Police Department Master Officer Stuart Hacksworth tells ABC4.
Hacksworth says a 77-year-old woman accidentally ran over a 62-year-old man Monday morning. This happening at about 8:22 a.m. on 3500 W at an entrance to the Kent’s Market shopping area.
A security camera at Warren’s restaurant filmed the accident, and the footage is being used by the police department to help with the investigation into the accident.
“Thankfully, the angle you could only kind of see the guy go down and then his bike,” Warren’s General Manager Zeb Murphy tells ABC4. “You couldn’t really see him, but you knew he was there, so it was hard to watch for sure.”
Murphy arrived to work at 8:27 a.m. He says at that time police still had the entrance into the parking lot blocked. He says none of his employees witnessed the accident, and when police asked him to check the security camera footage that’s when he learned what happened.
“It happened so fast,” Murphy states. “Like I said, the part that is disturbing is just the going back and forth. I don’t know if she thought she was stuck on something or what. That part I don’t understand.”
Officer Hackworth says (and camera footage affirms) the woman hit the man on the bicycle as she was turning right onto 3500 West. She then backed up over the man again. After that, she pulls forward at an angle missing the man but running over the bike. Security footage shows a truck pull up next to the accident. People get out of the truck to check on the man. Another person runs down past Warren’s to see what happened. Officer Hackworth says around this time, dispatch got multiple calls to report the accident. The security footage shows that police arrived in about three minutes and the paramedics in about five.
“They did have to perform life-saving measures and were able to bring him back,” says Officer Hackworth. “The last information from the hospital was that he was in critical condition.”
He tells ABC4 that due to the severity of the accident, officers had to check fo make sure the woman was not under the influence. They do not believe that was a factor at this time. The investigation will continue, and so far no charges have been filed.
Many may ask if the woman’s age affected her driving. That’s a hard question to answer. Others may ask: ‘Do elderly drivers cause more accidents?’
According to Utah Department of Public Safety, in 2020, 13 percent of accidents in the state involved a driver older than 64-years, and those crashes resulted in nearly 25 percent of car accident fatalities in Utah.
AARP has an article called “We Need to Talk: The Difficult Driving Conversation.” The organization uses the article to help people recognize the signs in their loved ones’ driving habits that show when a person’s age may be negatively influencing his or her driving. Some of these signs include: getting scrapes or dents on the car, garage or mailbox; having frequent close calls; driving too fast or too slow for road conditions.
The CDC reports people 75-years and older are most likely to die in car crashes due to their physical condition. The CDC states while aging can lead to impaired driving, older adults are also more likely to engage in safe driving behaviors like wearing a seatbelt and not driving during bad weather.
The CDC also offers resources to help elderly drivers remain independent and safe on the roads.
In Utah, age does not affect a person’s ability to have a driver’s license. However, the Utah Department of Public Safety does have the Unsafe Driver Review. The Utah DPS website says, “A family member, neighbor or a concerned citizen who becomes aware of a physical, mental or emotional impairment that may present a threat to an individual or others on the highways may submit a form to the Driver License Division. This form can also be used for the purpose of reporting drivers who may be unsafe to drive due to frequent accidents, frequent disregard for traffic laws or any driving actions observed which may affect driving safety.”
If a person wants to fill the form out, he or she will have to have it notarized. The person being reported may be required to take a driving test.
After the accident in Roy, police have a reminder for all drivers regardless of age. Officer Hackworth says, “Take that extra second, half-second, to make sure that you’re checking both ways, looking for pedestrians, bicyclists as well as vehicles.”