NEW YORK — It was practically impossible for the driver to see anything at all through his frosty car windows. After a reckless drive, he now faces prosecution for running over two innocent women and escaping a crime scene.
At the beginning of November last year, cold struck the Northern US unusually hard. It was consequently hardly any major surprise that car windows became frosty and needed deicing.
But a 76-year-old man in Billings, MN did not pay the circumstances much attention, as he hastily scraped his car windows in the ice-cold morning of November 8. A couple of swift strokes provided him with some visibility through the windshield, which he deemed enough for driving safely. He didn’t bother with the rear or side windows at all before deciding to take off.
The senior man was driving down Parkhill Drive and took a right onto Virginia Lane, but didn’t notice a younger woman who accompanied an elderly over a pedestrian crossing. The ladies were on their way to Starbuck’s for a morning coffee.
At relatively low speed, both women were hit hard from behind, and the older woman fell to the ground. To prevent the man from keeping driving, the younger woman ran towards the car, which hadn’t yet stopped, and started pounding on the hood and shouting that the driver must stop. Only then did the man recognize what had happened.
Police and an ambulance were alerted to the scene. The older woman was taken to a nearby hospital with injuries that required hospitalization. The younger woman was not seriously injured during the collision but requested sick leave for a couple of weeks.
The police apprehended the man’s driver’s license on the scene.
The 76-year-old has been unable to explain why he used his car in the first place, given the exceptionally poor visibility. But he stated that he while driving, before the accident, he had stopped at a separate location to scrape the windows free of ice a second time. According to his testimony, he was there “blinded by the sun” and therefore unable to see the women he would collide with only a few blocks further down the road.
Upon the completion of the police investigation, the prosecutor decided to charge the driver with reckless driving. The man pleads guilty.