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Elderly driver in 2 crashes with injuries, blocks apart

Getting our Wisconsin driver's license when we turn 16 is a major life event. What teenager doesn't feel as though he or she has made another important step toward becoming an adult? On the flip side, giving up one's car keys for the elderly can feel like a loss of freedom, vitality and independence.

Recently a 70-year-old man was involved in two car accidents just two blocks apart. The accidents happened in Viroqua and reportedly did not involve drugs or alcohol.

The first accident occurred in the intersection of Main Street and Decker Street. Apparently the 70-year-old's car struck another vehicle, although no injuries were reported.

A short time later, and just two blocks away, the 70-year-old was traveling southbound on Main Street when he struck a car in the intersection of Main and Jefferson. The 57-year-old driver of the other car was then thrust into the path of a third car, driven by a 37-year-old which was then also struck by the 70-year-old.

The 57-year-old from La Farge, the 37-year-old from Soldiers Grove and the 70-year-old from La Crosse were all injured and taken to Vernon Memorial Healthcare. None of their injuries were described as life threatening.

According to the Center for Disease Prevention and Control, more than 5,500 senior citizens died in car crashes and more than 183,000 were injured. The age at which the deaths per mile begin to increase significantly is age 75. This could be due to a decline in vision plus physical changes such as reflexes, loss of strength and increase in conditions such as arthritis.

The local police suspect that the 70-year-old had a health condition which contributed to the accidents. In that case, he may or may not be held liable for the injuries caused to those in the other cars.

Source: Vernon County Broadcaster, "Four vehicles involved in crash in Viroqua," Jun 13, 2012

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