Elderly driver confuses pedals, plows into Palm Desert business

PALM DESERT — No injuries were reported after an elderly driver accidentally plowed into the conference room of a Palm Desert business this morning, Wednesday, March 13.

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Police, fire, and rescue personnel were dispatched to the business around 9:45 a.m., after receiving reports of an elderly man who had crashed through the large, front glass window of a business. 911 callers reported that the man’s SUV ended up partially inside the business.

When officials arrived they found a black SUV part way inside the business’s front conference room. The driver had already managed to get out of the vehicle, and he along with the employees of the business, had evacuated the building prior to the arrival of emergency responders.

The driver, who did not suffer serious injuries, told officials investigating the cause of the crash that he mistakenly hit the gas pedal instead of the brake, which caused his SUV to lurch forward and crash into the conference room. The room was not occupied or being used at the time of the accident.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation, but officials at the scene said they did not suspect alcohol or drug intoxication to be contributing factors in the accident.


Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

Trevor Montgomery, 47, moved last year to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, The Valley Chronicle, and Anza Valley Outlook; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 28 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 15 – but soon to be 16 – grandchildren.

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