Runaway Car Kills Nursing Home Resident

LA MESA -- An 89-year-old nursing home resident died after a runaway car crashed through the wall of his home and knocked the man to the ground.

Police have not yet released the name of the victim but said he was originally transported to Sharp Memorial Hospital after the incident and doctors determined he had suffered a closed-head injury.

Police said the incident occurred just after 3:20 p.m. Investigators determined that a man had parked his car at the top of the 4900 block of Mills street on the street's east side. Police believe the driver failed to engage the parking brake and left the car in neutral when he exited.

After the driver walked away, the vehicle began rolling backwards and across to the west side of the street, colliding with a portion of Elmcroft of La Mesa, a senior care home located at 4960 Mills St. The vehicle traveled a distance of approximately 260 feet down a steep driveway that runs east-west along the south side of the Mills Street Apartments. See photo below.

The 89-year-old victim was sitting in his chair when the vehicle crashed through the wall, knocking him to the ground. Police at that time said the victim had suffered injuries to the left side of his body, but did not believe they were life threatening injuries. However, later evaluation determined he had suffered a head injury and the man died during the evening.

There has been no announcement of charges in the case. The investigation is continuing.

Early this morning, the crash scene had been boarded up but the path the vehicle took through the nicely landscaped facility and into the wall was still clearly visible.

View looking up the hill from Elmcroft Senior facility.

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Tags: City of La Mesa, Crime Watch, Elder Care, La Mesa Police, La Mesa news, La Mesa newspaper, Mills Street


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