Elderly Driver Loses License, Given House Arrest For Fatal Accident

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — An 81-year-old woman was under house arrest on Friday after a judge revoked her driver’s license after her involuntary manslaughter conviction last year for an accident that left two people dead.

Lillian Paxson, 81, apologized for the first time to the family of Bahar Yaghoubian before leaving court on Thursday after pleading no contest to involuntary manslaughter charges related to the accident last January.

Paxson accidentally hit the gas pedal and slammed into Yaghoubian’s car, which in turn hit pedestrian Gustavo Pablo and left both dead.

Despite the apology from Paxson, Yaghoubian’s family was unmoved.

“She killed two people, my beautiful daughter, and she can go change, she can go shopping, she can go [to the] hospital,” said mother
Fariba Yaghoubian. “It means that didn’t see any sign outside to feel that she did something bad.”

Paxson lost her driving privileges for three years, was given six years probation, and was ordered to perform 90 hours of community service and placed under house arrest for 90 days.

Bahar Yaghoubian was a graduate student studying to be a doctor of pharmacology at the University of Southern California at the time of the accident.

The Yaghoubian family established the Bahar Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion of safe driving “to help the public better understand how physical and cognitive impairments can jeopardize the safety of everyone on the road”.

  • bounce

    >> Paxson lost her driving privileges for three years

    Are they really considering letting her back out on the road? I don’t think her driving is going to improve with age.

  • pcmacbob

    The DMV needs to revise there rules on drivers over a certain age. My mother was 80 and had memory loss and forgot that her drivers license had expired and went to renew it and missed on the test 3 more answers that were allowed and got her license. I had to disconnect the battery on her car and tell her that it could not be fixed so that she could not drive. They need to have testing for drivers over 70 every year and make them pay for the testing.

  • storyteller

    We need to have safe and economical transportation options for drivers who reach a point that they should not be driving. Many existing services will leave the elderly at doctor offices, etc. if they are not exactly on time. (When was the last time that you had an appointment that started when scheduled?) Some older passengers do not feel safe on city buses. Fixed incomes do not allow for the fees charged by most van services. Many cities are cutting back on programs to provide transportation for those who cannot drive.

    No one from my mother’s church volunteered to offer her a ride to church( in another part of the state) after a stroke. The only person who she could find to drive her on Sunday wanted $50 for each three mile trip.

    Driving in our culture represents independence. It is only when you try to secure transportation for doctor’s appointments, shopping and continuing a social life that you realize how limited the options are for our seniors. As more of us age this situation will increase.

    This is not an excuse. No one should be behind the wheel who may hurt others.

  • Christina39

    Paxson lost her driving privileges for three years, Is she going to be a better driver when she is 84?

    But I have to agree more and more public transportation is disappearing and people have to drive. There should be some kind of solution.

  • Sydney

    The judge has lost his mind..Her license should have been revoked permanently!

  • Keith Hoffmann


    I agree with all the comments on this page, and at age 67, I realize that in Los Angeles County, ‘things are not what they used to be’ (name of my Jazz album) regarding Public Transportation for Seniors. All the Agencies in LA that offer to shuttle Seniors to their doctor appointments, and Shopping Mall trips etc; charge now for their services. My large support group that I’ve attended for years, I’m not really close to anyone that they would not think twice about asking me for $20-$40 gas money. That’s ok if I could afford it, but on a fixed income? Less than $2000 per month, that’s not always affordable. So I know what you mean about feeling independent. I have physical problems at 67, so I can imagine what it will be like at 80. Los Angeles needs to supply SAFE, affordible transportation for Seniors. Riding the Bus in the Beach Cities area takes too long.

  • rankin1

    People over 60 need to perform a physical fitness test, a reaction test before the eye and written test in order to get a license. Example. 40 yard dash under 10 seconds,

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