Car visits Flegel's via front window

The top of a $10,000 inlaid Italian table was showered with broken glass at Flegel's Home Furnishings at 870 Santa Cruz Ave. in Menlo Park after a Jaguar drove into a plate glass window in the front of the store at about 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 23.

The Jaguar's driver, a 91-year-old man, reportedly thought his car was in reverse then hit the gas when he meant to hit the brakes, said store manager Brian Flegel in a phone interview.

Mr. Flegel said he hadn't been in the store at the time, but related what he was told about it.

No one was injured, he said. Firefighters had it cleaned up in 15 to 20 minutes.

The car's front tire ran into a foot-high planter, which simultaneously raised the car onto a faux brick ledge and slowed it down, Mr. Flegel said. When it stopped, just the front of the car was inside the store.

"All in all, it was, I guess, the perfect way a car could hit our store," he said.


Like this comment
Posted by Paul Morphy
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Sep 30, 2008 at 6:12 pm

The community is very lucky no one was on the sidewalk between the 91-year-old driver and the Flegel's window when this happened. I know it's not PC to point the finger at aging drivers but this driver is probably someone who needs to hang up his license. Clearly, if he "hit the gas" to back up with the force that sent him over the curb and through the store window, bad things were going to happen regardless which direction the driver found himself moving in.


Like this comment
Posted by Alice
a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on Sep 30, 2008 at 8:40 pm

Wasn't there another incident of an elderly (80+ year old) driver in a haze of similar confusion plowing into Starbucks on Avy recently? There have been a number of such incidents, in fact, all over the Bay Area and elsewhere. When are we going to start recognizing the need to test elderly drivers more often and more rigorously?

I recently learned that in Ireland the maximum age for driving legally is 78. In this country of limited mass transit choices, I think that might be too severe, but still, Ireland's law is based on a reasonable premise. If we have to accommodate the 80+ year old driver to a certain degree because of our lack of mass transit, we at least need to redouble our effort to ascertain that older people are still capable of driving safely.

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