Elderly Driver who Crashed into New Smyrna Beach Hospital Failed Vision Test
Feb. 7, 2014
NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. —
One person is still hospitalized and another recovering at home after a woman drove her car into a New Smyrna Beach hospital on Thursday, killing a 63-year-old patient who was waiting for treatment.
Investigators said 78-year-old Janet Spurgeon backed her car into the Bert Fish Medical Center shortly before 2 p.m., killing Edmond Kestory and injuring several others.
Channel 9’s Blaine Tolison has been digging through Spurgeon;’s driving record all day and found she didn’t have any violations on her record, but she did fail the first attempt at the vision exam.
The medical center will remain closed for another three days as crews assess the structural damage.
Authorities believe Spurgeon suffered an unknown medical condition that may have caused her to suddenly back through the front lobby and into a waiting area.
Police said Spurgeon likely will not face charges but may receive a traffic citation. Depending on the severity of the citation, Spurgeon could keep her license, authorities said.
The accident poses the question: Should Floridians retake a driver’s test at a certain age?
Tolison checked and found that a mandatory vision test is required for drivers older than the age of 80, and drivers older than 80 get a six-year license instead of the usual eight years.
The Department of Motor Vehicles can also investigate when unsafe drivers are reported and the DMV offers Florida grand driver, which is a program that encourages continuing driver’s education but doesn’t require it.