If you didn't hear about the near-disastrous car crash during Santa Monica's otherwise idyllic (bike traffic notwithstanding) Fourth of July parade last Monday, it's because the old woman behind the wheel, and the group of children she plowed through, were incredibly lucky to come away with nothing more than scraped knees.
Well, and recurring nightmares of a batty lady in her maroon-mobile, barreling past a worthless line of conage like a bottle rocket from hell.
Commenters on the Santa Monica Mirror's original parade article wrote that the woman — in her late 70s and driving with an expired license — struck a small girl on Main Street between Hill and Ashland, then “just missed hitting about eight other children” on her beeline of ultimate destruction.
Crazy lady told cops at the scene that she had meant to get her license renewed, but the damn DMV was always closed, and besides, she didn't know the parade had started.
But Richard Lewis, a spokesman for the Santa Monica Police Department, described to the Mirror the incredible lengths she had to go through to reach the parade's path:
SMPD determined that she gained access to the route through a private driveway that transcends from Second Street. Lewis described an open gate through an alley near Starbucks, on the north and east side of Ocean Park Boulevard and Main Street intersection. Lewis said the police believe she drove through this private drive, then headed south along the parade route.
“If anyone was blocking that private driveway, they actually moved for her and let her on to Main Street,” he said. “Her access was not via a public property that the City maintains. There is no way to plug every single hole. We couldn't even do that for the (LA) Marathon. She sought out the openings…She was told she would have to proceed south, just into Venice at Rose (Avenue), and that she could cross over into Neilson Way that way,” said Lewis. “Obviously, she wasn't going to comply with those directions.”
So, either the old girl is blind as a bat, and, like the granny from “Mulan,” can thread her way through a maze of cones/closures with only a talking cricket to guide her, or she actually sought to sabotage the Santa Monica parade and its wee onlookers.
Either one scares the crap out of us. Even, dare we say, reminds us of a similar, if much deadlier, plow through the Santa Monica Farmers Market by an 86-year-old man in 2003.
“The person to blame here is the lady,” Lewis told the Mirror. “She didn't follow directions. She was without a license. She should not have even been driving.”
Her car was towed, and the driver will have to take a written test and a behind-the-wheel exam before she can get her car, or her license, back.
But uh. Really guys? At a certain point — like, granny from Mulan point, or, plowing through group of joyful children while (presumably) sober point — a driving moratorium doesn't seem completely out of the question.