Back in April we recounted the story of a tragic case of a senior driver parked in an ADA space who made a simple error and caused his SUV to lurch forward and smash into people sitting on a bench waiting to go into the restaurant. The 81 year-old driver killed 73 year-old Marisa Malin and critically injured Marisa's granddaughter, Isabel Manalo.
This accident was foreseeable. It was predictable that a driver in the act of parking or unparking in that ADA space might lurch forward and strike the bench and whoever was sitting on it or standing near it. IN addition, this accident was preventable. A very simple barrier, in this case a row of bollards that have since been installed subsequent to the tragedy, would have prevented the surging SUV from striking anyone waiting at the bench.
Fast forward 7 months later: Isabel is making a great recovery. The restaurant is now protected so this will not happen again. The family is healing with the passage of time. But there is more to the story.
Mike Fleming is the owner of Farrell's and he has vowed that these kinds of preventable accident need to be eliminated. Victor Manalo, Isabel's father and Marisa's son-in-law, is a city councilman in Artesia California and he has taken it on himself to require some sort of safety barrier between vehicles and patrons and pedestrians at storefront locations such as this one. These two men are working hard to make sure that this type of storefront crash never happens again in their town.
Please see the coverage from Los Angeles CBS2 on this story -- both the written article and the video. Thanks to CBS for their story, and thanks to Victor and Mike for working so hard for this cause. Stay tuned for more information on the Artesia City Ordinance requiring safety barriers and bollards in certain areas of parking lots .