Man, 83, Accidentally Kills Wife, 80, In Kaiser Permanente Parking Mishap

PANORAMA CITY (CBS) —  Authorities say an 83-year-old man accidentally crashed his truck into a parking structure wall Friday killing his 80-year-old wife.

Gordon Curry was sitting in his 1995 Ford F-250 truck stopped inside the passenger loading area at Kaiser Permanent Panorama City Hospital just before 2:35 p.m. when his wife, 80-year-old Hanna Curry, got in, Detective James Deaton of the Los Angeles Police Department Valley Traffic Division said.

“His wife…had just re-entered the truck on the passenger side,” Deaton said. “The truck suddenly accelerated forward out of control, colliding with the open right rear passenger door of a taxi cab.”

The truck continued accelerating and jumped over a raised median, crashing into a small tree before crossing the service entry and colliding with a steel rail fence, Deaton said.

“The truck then collided with a concrete wall of the parking structure coming to rest,” Deaton said. “As a result of the impact, both the driver and his passenger were taken to the hospital for treatment.”

Driver Gordon Curry suffered severe injuries, Deaton said.

Police urged anyone who witnessed the crash to contact Valley Traffic Division officers at (818) 644-8032 or (877) LAPD-24-7.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

  • Lola

    This is why people over 70 should have to pass a serious physical and mental test before renewing their license!


      I totally agree with Lola, not counting dui, or Texting while driving, Seniors over the age of 70 should have to take a physical and and retesting courdanation..befor giving someone a renewell on there drivers licence. My mom was 80 and still driving, I couldnt believe they would still let her have a drivers licence, she has dementia slightly and they keep letting her drive…Well we took her keys, and she no longer drives, but I feel if we have let her drove, this is something that might have happened…do you want that for your grandparents????

      • Den

        So another Ford suddenly accelerated killing somebody in the process. Didn’t the same thing happen two months ago down in Newport Beach when a woman driving a Ford suddenly accelerated and hit a few vehicles killing two. The US government people should look into those sudden acceleration Fords before more gets killed because of it.

    • Karen

      I agree PROVIDED that EVERYONE stops texting and chatting on the damn phone. What happened to these older people is rare but what is not rare are the chatty cathy’s who can not drive and talk at the same time.

      • Stop Texting/Talking While Driving!

        Very good point, Karen. This is an extremely rare occurance, but I see idiots every single day putting my life and your life at risk by talking and texting on their phones. Let’s not be so quick to demean this poor man’s age while we have so much more bigger garbage to clean out of our own backyards.

      • bob

        I agree about cell phone use. Please forward your comments to the families of the ten people who were killed at a Santa Monica farmers market some years ago by an elderly driver who was so out of it he plowed through several blocks of people. Why not stop both?

  • rosita

    just because one senior man had an accident you want all seniors to be treated like idiots. how many young people had accident. thausands every day. the ratio of young people having accident is far too many compared to senior accident.
    don not throw a basket of apples just because one apple is rotten. we seniors are more careful drivers than young people.. how dare you discriminate us.

    • bob

      and how old are you, rosita? it’s not treating anyone as an idiot to require that they show they are competent to handle a potentially lethal device. How dare you think you might never be competent to drive? totally selfish and unthinking, like MANY older people.


      rosita you are so far off base i cant even decide where to start the ratio of young people to older haveing an accident is FAR LOWER and this is comming from an insuance agent who sees the reports daily. older people do try to drive slower mostly because they are not able to see well enough to drive fast plus they have MUCH LOWER REFLEX ACTION meaning when they do crash they tend not to get to the break fast enough or in this case off the gas fast enough. lola is right there needs to be better testing for older people if you can pass the test then drive on if you cant CASH IT IN AND CALL A CAB

      • Karen

        I do not believe you fact. I think older drivers ARE more careful. I find your information totally disbelievable because older drivers’ insurance rates ARE SO MUCH LOWER than a 19 year old boy.

      • Look It Up

        According to the California DMV, “For both men and women, drivers aged 16 to 19 years of age have the highest average annual crash and traffic violation rates of any other age group.”

        Look it up

      • Mimi

        I thought drivers over a certain age have to be retested for their license every ___ years?

    • Laughing in el monte

      But, when a senior citizen has an accident, it’s usually a catastrophic one. If you are embarrassed about taking a physical/medical evaluation, pretend you are a Formula 1 driver. Michael Schumacher had blood tests done every race weekend. He doesn’t complain like you.

  • Onclewille

    Rosita needs to face reality. Too many senior drivers continue to drive well after their driving skills have left them. It is not discrimanation to point out the obvious. Older drivers need remedial training and more frequent testing to ensure they are retainig their skills. As a senior driver I see many of my friends continuing to drive when they should be selling their cars. I hope I have the good sense and courage to take my own advice when the time comes.

    • Deron Walker

      Rosita is right. Check the stats. Younger drivers in the teens and in their 30s are far more dangerous statistically. And to the first dingdong poster check some facts before jumping the gun. We don’t even know what happened. What if the driver had a heart attack? That could happen at age 50.

  • Jack

    After age 70 they should be tested every two years, after 80, every year, at 90, no more driving.

  • James

    Deport him.

    • Stop Texting/Talking While Driving!

      You’re an idiot.

      • James

        Okay, that’s it: you’re deported. I’ve found your IP address and filed the paperwork. They’ll be coming after lunch tomorrow.

    • deport James


      • samuelberg

        Well good thing its after lunch. I’m eating my world famous jumbalaya!!!

      • James

        Great; thanks a lot. I’m writing this from an internet cafe above a brothel just off Avenida Revolucion in Tijuana. The ICE officials told me I need to post nicer comments on this website if I ever hope to return to the U.S. I’ve turned over a new leaf, I promise. Now let me back in.

  • Bek

    Our heart goes out to Mr. Curry during this stressful time. He has so much on his plate. 1. Recovering from his own severe physical injuries. 2. The accidental death of his long time wife and companion. 3. His feelings of guilt for playing such a huge part in the death of his wife. 4. The impact that this guilt will have on his own recovery. 5. Plus being in his 80’s the loss of his support from his longtime companion. They call these occurrences accidents for a reason people. There is no one alive today that drives that has not had a close call or an accident.. So if you have nothing intlelignet or nice to say,”Flip Off”.



    • Karen

      I completely agree with you Bek, I am trying to figure out how to send him a condolence card to show that someone cares about him.

    • Stop Texting/Talking While Driving!

      AMEN, BEK!

  • Mel Gibson

    Sober Drivers Kill & Maim more people than Drunk Drivers

    • PA

      Drivers on cell phones while driving whether hands free or not injure, maim, and/or kill more people than a drunk driver. People on cells phones are four times more likely to cause an accident than a drunk driver! There Are Stats to prove this as well. So Hang Up and Drive!

    • Comic_guy

      That’s because the ratio of sober drivers to drunk drivers is about 1000:1. However, if you compare 100 sober drivers to 100 drunk drivers, then your comment is incorrect.

  • john

    I was hit by a senior when I was 11 years old. I broke both of my legs, tore my lip, broke my nose, and I spent 6 months in a wheelchair. It altered my entire perspective on life and scarred me forever. Now, at age 45, while I have recovered fully, the emotional scars continue to torment me. He should not have been driving.

    • rp


    • Karen

      What did you do? Run out in front of a car? I think you need psychological help if you are still tormented about this after 34 years.

    • Senior Crash Test Dummy

      A “senior” to an 11 year old would be someone age 35….

  • Dennis

    OK – the debate between whether seniors are more dangerous or young people is irrelevant. Senior crashes resulting in a loss of life usually occur from a mental mishap such as “they thought they were pressing the brake” when in fact they were not. Mental faculty to differentiate quick changes in stimuli and other tangible motor skills are more easily tested for than “does this kid look like he’s a bad driver”? Further, many of the accidents young people – especially men get into is because of a fearless attitude – which leads to racing, trying to beat red lights, tailgating, and overall very aggressive driving. A test for this would not work because one cannot test for aggressive driving – these young people supposedly have all their requisite mental capabilities to drive safely but CHOOSE not to. It would create such a logistical nightmare trying to test for this and could not be tested on an objective scale. .Therefore, It may be very likely that young people cause more crashes and on a whole are “more dangerous” drivers than seniors over 70; however, motor skills that can be tested would weed out some older drivers who may get confused easily and create such tragedies.

    • PA

      Drivers on cell phones while driving whether hands free or not injure, maim, and/or kill more people than a drunk driver. People on cells phones are four times more likely to cause an accident than a drunk driver! There Are Stats to prove this as well. So Hang Up and Drive!

      Seniors should be tested every year after a certain age. Just the other day a senior driver crossed over into my lane without looking! No, I did NOT honk my horn for fear of “startling” him which May cause him to “panic”, accelerate, and/or crash. I have been hit several times and/or had near misses by ESL drivers, 20 somethings (usually female on cell phone, trying to text while driving), teens, and seniors.

      My heart goes out to Mr. Curry. He’s dealing with a lot of emotions while recovering from his injuries. Sure Hope his family stays by his side, helps him get through this with minimal emotional scars.

      If there Are witnesses to this accident/tragedy, please come forward. There’s a chance you may be able to help Mr. Curry “understand” what happened that day. There’s also a possibility the vehicle malfunctioned which puts many more people who own that type of vehicle at risk to themselves as well as others.

  • Gary M. Briggs

    DMV’s fault !

  • chatsworth doc

    I would argue that on a per mile bases, seniors (over 80) get into more accidents then the other groups. Just look at that guy that mowed down those folks at the farmers market in Santa Monica a number of years ago. he was a menace on the road, his family knew it but did nothing to stop him. Because of that many people paid the price for his actions.

    • Karen

      Leave the armchair analysis IN YOUR HOUSE. What makes YOU an expert? Just because you MAY BE a doctor, does not mean you are an expert on this topic. And if what you say is true, why is it that the insurance rates FOR OLDER PEOPLE ARE LOWER than for younger people? I’m being logical.

      • Josephine Go Lim

        Older people should be tested on their mental and mobility skills at least every 2 years if they still want to drive especially when they reach 70 years of age and above. A lot of older people are still able but it does help to make sure they are not a danger to themselves and other people when they drive. My prayers for Mr. Curry. I do agree that he might accidentally step on the gas instead of the break. Such a tragedy. I do agree with Jack,

        After age 70 they should be tested every two years, after 80, every year, at 90, no more driving.

    • Stop Texting/Talking While Driving!

      @ chatsworth “doc” – Other than the farmer’s market ACCIDENT, can you tell all of us another time in recent history where an elderly driver hurt or killed someone? I didn’t think so. And NO ONE is responsible for the farmer’s market ACCIDENT. NO ONE. That’s why it’s called an accident.

  • Dani

    Guess what, this wasn’t a Toyota
    and Toyota was cleared from any electronic or software malfunction
    After hitting the cab door Old man freaked, stomped on the Gas,

  • Talas

    old people will continue to drive
    just like illegals or kids without
    a license

  • Nina

    That poor man! What a terrible tragedy. He must be devastated. My heart goes out to him and his family for the guilt and pain he must be suffering.

    • cdubb

      Right? Everyone on here is making these cold comments about senior drivers and junk. The poor man! It must be heartbreaking. And especially if they were parents/grandparents!

    • Stop Texting/Talking While Driving!

      I completely agree with you, Nina! Everyone misses the main point in these kinds of stories.

  • Sam

    Something for everyone to remember, driving is a PRIVILEGE and NOT a right. Senior citizens do tend to be far more cautious behind the wheel than their younger counterparts, but that does not mean they’re better or worse at driving. It simply means they know that driving can be a dangerous situation if you’re not paying attention. All of the idiots on their cell phones either talking or texting while driving prove that. That being said, senior citizens do have slower reaction times. It’s not a judgement, it’s a statement of fact that as we get age, our muscles don’t always react as fast as they used to. I don’t think it too much of an offense to ask that older drivers test their reflexes in a practical driving test in order to renew their licenses. I say this in full knowledge that someday I may be lucky enough to reach the age of having to do this myself, and it won’t be as far off as I would like. My grandfather continued to drive for most of his adult life, but he realized at some point that he just was no longer physically capable of safely operating a motor vehicle, so he gave up driving. IN fact, I think that most of us would benefit from having to take a practical driving exam every so often to renew our licenses anyway!

  • Tripp

    I hate it when the old geezers are out on the road in the morning while everyone is trying to commute to work.

    No disrespect intended to the old geezers.

    • Stop Texting/Talking While Driving!

      I feel disrespected. In case you were wondering….

    • No More Seniors

      yeah, they should drive only when functional people do not need the roads.

  • drozone69

    Where is this couples family?Grandchildren need to step up and hold hands in this situation.But no everyones to busy with facebook,to concern themselves with familial obligations!!

  • Top Posts —

    […] Man, 83, Accidentally Kills Wife, 80, In Kaiser Permanente Parking Mishap PANORAMA CITY (CBS) —  Authorities say an 83-year-old man accidentally crashed his truck into a parking structure […] […]

  • Stop Texting/Talking While Driving!

    OK – when all the people who have made absurd comments in this forum refrain from picking up their cell phones while THEY are behind the wheel, then they should have NOTHING whatsoever to say about this poor man and his awful loss. All of them are hypocrites because you know they text/talk while driving EVERY SINGLE DAY, putting my life and your life at risk. Zip your mouths until you no longer are a hypocrite.

  • rich

    here is a USA TODAY article written on this very topic so that those of you out there that think age has no impact on ones driveing ability

  • Robert

    The women who was killed in this accident was my mother. The man is my father and most likely will die from his injuries in the next couple of days. Family has gathered since the accident in order to celebrate the life of our mother and be at the bedside 24 hours a day for our father. I want to thank some readers for their concern for the family.

    This was an accident. My father is a retired commercial truck driver. He is 83 and passed a DMV drivers test within the last two years. He never texted while driving and refused to talk on the phone when driving. How do I know this? My mother was the one who talked on the phone while he drove or they waited to call me after they returned home. Texting – they never did this at all.

    It is amazing how many jump to a conclusion without knowing the facts. The vehicle did suddenly accelerate for unknown reasons according to my father. Was he on the gas or break? We will never know. An accident investigation team was never sent to the accident site. He will swear to this day he was on the break pedal trying to get the vehicle stopped. He made the comment he tried to get the vehicle out of gear but was unable to do so. He did manage to steer the vehicle so as not to hit any pedestrians or other vehicles. This terror ride only lasted a few seconds before taking the life of my mother.

    This was nothing more than an unfortunate accident which will leave our family without a father, grand father, and great grand father; mother, grand-mother, and great grand mother. The passing of one parent is difficult, two within two weeks, painful.

    Son of Hannah and Gordon

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