LOS ANGELES Aug 29 A 100-year-old motorist lost
control of his automobile as he backed out of his driveway into
a crowd of children and parents outside an elementary school in
Los Angeles on Wednesday, injuring nine children and two adults,
Four of the children initially were listed in critical
condition, though most were upgraded after they arrived at the
hospital, and none appeared to have suffered life-threatening
injuries, authorities said.
The pedestrians were standing around a sidewalk vendor's
cart when the car rolled up over the curb in front of Main
Street Elementary School in south Los Angeles as classes were
letting out at about 2:30 p.m. local time, police said.
The driver, who was detained for questioning and later
released without being charged, told police his car experienced
some kind of mechanical failure, Los Angeles Police Department
spokeswoman Karen Rayner said.
"At this point, it doesn't appear as though there are going
to be any charges filed, but it's an ongoing investigation," she
said. "We'll definitely be looking at his competency to retain
his driver's license."
His car also was impounded as evidence, she said.
Authorities did not release the motorist's name. But the
driver gave his name to local television station ABC7 as Preston
Carter and said he turns 101 next month. He also told the TV
station that his brakes failed as he was backing up.
At least one of the nine children injured in the accident
remained in critical but stable condition Wednesday night at
County-University of Southern California Medical Center in Los
Angeles, a hospital spokeswoman said.
(Reporting by Steve Gorman; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)