xxxNews Of The Weirdxxx
Bizarre but true stories about real people collected by syndicated columnist Chuck Shepherd.
As senior citizens resist the idea of age-specific driver testing, accidents continue in which police suspect the cause was an elderly driver who momentarily confused the gas pedal for the brake. Recent examples:
–90-year-old man, crashed into a pharmacy, Scarborough, Maine, November;
–83-year-old driver, drove off the second floor of a parking deck, Las Vegas, October;
–80-year-old driver, smashed into a Veterans Day parade (one death), Whitman, Mass., November;
–74-year-old man, crashed into a coffee shop, Corvallis, Ore., December;
–74-year-old man, mowed down pedestrians on a sidewalk (two deaths), Montreal, Quebec, November.
–And in the most prominent case, George Weller, 87, heads back to court in January, having pleaded not guilty to vehicular manslaughter in the 2003 Santa Monica, Calif., farmer’s market “massacre” in which 10 people were killed and 63 injured when Weller couldn’t find the brakes for 1,000 feet at 60 mph.
After Billy W. Williams, 53, skipped out during his trial for aggravated assault in 2003 in Dallas, he was found guilty in absentia, but Judge Faith Johnson apparently was not quite satisfied. When Williams was recaptured and returned to her courtroom in October 2004 for sentencing, Johnson organized a “party” in his “honor,” with balloons, streamers and a cake, to create a festive backdrop for her gleeful announcement that she was sentencing him to a life term.
William Glenn Barefoot, 40, escaped from jail in Fayetteville, N.C., in October and soon after that called his brother John to report that he hadn’t eaten since the escape and that he was cold, in part because he had had to break out quickly and had not had a chance to grab his shoes. (He was recaptured a few days later.)
Send your Weird News to Chuck Shepherd, P.O. Box 18737, Tampa, Fla. 33679 or [email protected]
Copyright © 2001 by Chuck Shepherd
NEWS OF THE WEIRD