Too Old To Drive?

A crash that claimed the life of a Spring Valley man is raising questions about elderly drivers. 

Clay Smith was seriously injured April 15 after police say an 86-year-old woman mistakenly hit the gas pedal, sending her car into a dental office. Smith was in the waiting room of that office and was pinned by the car against a wall. 

"Her foot was still on the gas, she burned holes into the floor of the dentist office," Daniel Vineis said.  Vineis was the partner of the 59-year-old victim, who died of his injuries Tuesday night.  

"He was a really nice guy, he was my everything basically," Vineis said. 

Now that Smith has died, traffic investigators are recommending the driver, Elsie Speck of Tierrasanta, be charged with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter.  Vineis is hoping the city attorney's office files the charge against Speck. 

"I think it was wrong she was still able to drive, why would anyone let her drive at 86-years-old?"Vineis said. 

According to the California DMV, anyone over the age of 70 must renew their license at a DMV office.  They must also take a vision test, but not a driving ability test.  Vineis says that needs to change. 

"Something needs to be done to monitor if these people are a liability on the road." 

Speck said her attorney advised her not to comment on the case. 

Traffic investigators say if she is convicted, she would probably get probation.

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