It could have been far worse. Police say an elderly woman failed to stop for an officer in downtown Madison Wednesday morning, instead speeding down a one-way street into a busy intersection, where she collided with a car. Both vehicles ended up on the sidewalk, where two pedestrians were injured.
Loretta Neely works near the busy intersection where the crash occurred. Neely confirmed that an MPD officer attempted to stop the elderly driver on Henry Street. “You could tell she was like disoriented or something . . . she wasn’t all there,” said Neely. “And then when she got to Mifflin and Henry, she sped off,” down Henry, which at that point becomes a one-way street. Neely’s co-worker Jesenya Alvarado said the driver “bolted straight down the one-way, and then we heard the crash.”
Madison police spokesman Joel DeSpain said the 78 year-old woman’s car reached a high rate of speed before entering the intersection of State and Johnson Streets – one of downtown’s busiest – where she struck another car. DeSpain said both vehicles ended up on the sidewalk, and two women who were pedestrians were injured. He said the most serious injury was to one of those pedestrians, a woman with a head injury. “We’re not sure, but it’s possible she (the elderly driver) may have been having a medical emergency,” said DeSpain. Both drivers, the elderly woman and the man driving the car she struck, were transported by ambulance along with the two pedestrians. The crash occurred at the tail end of morning rush hour, about 9:30.