The elderly driver who accelerated onto a downtown Palo Alto sidewalk Thursday, leaving five people injured, has been notified that he must take an emergency re-examination with the Department of Motor Vehicles, Palo Alto police Lt. Zach Perron said Saturday.
The driver, a man in his 90s from San Jose, was trying to parallel park during the busy lunch hour outside University Cafe when he accidentally hit the accelerator instead of the brake. He struck people sitting at tables outside the restaurant along University Avenue and one person walking.
Perron said that he has five days to pass a driving test with the DMV or else his license will be suspended.
"An emergency re-examination with DMV is a routine procedure when we have concerns about someone's ability to operate a vehicle safely," Perron said.
Two of the people who were injured, one critically, required surgery: a man in his 30s who sustained injuries to his lower legs and a second man in his 70s whose legs and back were injured, according to police. The other seated cafe patrons, a woman in her 60s and a man in his 20s, sustained abrasions and scrapes to various locations on their bodies. The fifth injured person, a man in his 30s, was walking by the cafe when he was struck. He sustained a laceration to his head, police said.
The driver had an abrasion on one of his arms, likely due to airbag deployment, according to police.
No further updates on the victims' conditions were available Saturday.
Police Agent Marianna Villaescusa said Thursday that it can take up to 30 days to complete an investigation of such an incident, but that with statements from the cooperative driver and many witnesses, it could be quicker.