Tuesday 9 February 2021

Pensioner loses control over wheeled walker and careens into crowd of people

Portland, OR (dpo) - This morning, a 77 year-old man lost control over his wheeled walking frame and careered straight into a crowd of people in a pedestrian area of Portland, Oregon. The man in question, Norman S., admits fault, saying that he had tried to reduce the speed of his vehicle. However, instead of successfully braking, he ended up travelling even faster. Luckily, no one was seriously injured but the controversy about the safety of wheeled walking frames is once again in the public eye.

“It was absolutely horrifying!” complains the driver of the vehicle involved in the accident. “I had run a few errands and then entered the pedestrian area with my walking frame as usual, suspecting nothing, when suddenly a pigeon appeared a short way in front of me.” In a lightning-fast evasive manoeuvre, Norman S. lost control over his vehicle. However, when he tried to brake, he just worsened the situation by accidentally speeding up. He found himself hurtling towards a crowd of people at almost walking speed.
Especially dangerous model with radiator grille
A 25 year-old man recounts being involved in the incident: “He was heading straight for me, screaming a drawn-out ‘nnnnnooooooooooooo!’ I was working out whether I should dodge to the right or the left when my wife called and engaged me in a five-minute discussion on what we should have for dinner tonight.” Meanwhile, Norman S. was getting closer and closer to him, still crying “noooooooooo!”
In a fraction of an hour, the pensioner hit the young man’s shin with the bumper of his walking frame. The 25 year-old was unable to take evasive action since, in the meantime, he had completely forgotten about his dangerous situation, having been distracted by a shop window.
After the collision, Norman S. came to a halt in a twisting motion. Fortunately, no one was hurt apart from a barely detectable scratch on the young man’s shin. The walking frame also came away unscathed.
Unfortunately, Norman S’s sorry fate is by no means uncommon. Time and again, pensioners lose control of their wheeled walking frames, causing the Oregon Department of Transportation to consider the introduction of regular aptitude tests. However, some people are demanding that wheeled walking frames should only be used by people under the age of 50, or, if approved for senior citizens, should be reduced to an acceptable maximum speed.
ssi; picture above: © Robert Hoetink - Fotolia.com; first published 2017-06-23
Read the German version HERE.
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