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Accident Report Detail

Rear-End Collision and Subsequent Vehicle Intrusion Into Pedestrian Space at Certified Farmers' Market

Executive Summary

On July 16, 2003, about 1:46 p.m. Pacific daylight time, a 1992 Buick LeSabre, driven by an 86-year-old male, was westbound on Arizona Avenue, approaching the intersection of Fourth Street, in Santa Monica, Los Angeles County, California. At the same time, a 2003 Mercedes Benz S430 sedan, occupied by a driver and front-seat passenger, was also westbound on Arizona Avenue and had stopped for pedestrians in a crosswalk on Fourth Street at the intersection with Arizona Avenue. The Buick struck the left rear corner of the Mercedes, continued through the intersection, and drove through a farmers’ market, striking pedestrians and vendor displays before coming to rest. As a result of the accident, 10 people were fatally injured, and 63 people received injuries ranging from minor to serious. The Buick driver and both Mercedes occupants were uninjured.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determined that the probable cause of this accident was the failure of the Buick driver to maintain control of his vehicle due to his unintended acceleration. Contributing to the severity of the accident was the lack of a barrier system to protect pedestrians in the Santa Monica Certified Farmers’ Market area from errant vehicles.

Accident Location: Santa Monica , CA    
Accident Date: 7/16/2003
Accident ID: HWY03MH039

Date Adopted: 8/3/2004
NTSB Number: HAR-04-04
NTIS Number: PB2004-916204