ESCONDIDO (CNS) - One man was killed and another person was injured when an 89-year-old man accelerated while driving near Palomar Medical Center and struck two pedestrians, Escondido police said.
James Donaldson, 63, of Oceanside died from injuries sustained in the collision. He had been treated at the hospital for another ailment and was being pushed in a wheelchair by a friend when he was struck.
Elena Cendejas, 67, the friend who was pushing Donaldson, was injured and is in fair condition.
The collision was reported at 5:49 p.m. outside the medical center at 2185 Citracado Parkway.
Carol Brown has lived next door to Cendejas and her family for 39 years.
"They're just there if you need them. If I needed anything, she would be there. If they needed anything I would be there. They're just the ideal neighbors."
Brown said Elena and Donaldson had been friends for years.
"When he was well he would come over and visit," Brown said.
She said Donaldson had not been well for some time and may have had some sort of disease or disorder. She said Elena went from being his friend to his caretaker.
"She takes real good care of him," Brown added.
Donaldson had just been released from the hospital, and was wheeling Donaldson out when it happened.
John Marin, 89, was driving a 2000 Toyota Tacoma near the hospital entrance when he suddenly accelerated and struck the two pedestrians, witnesses told police.
He was evaluated at the hospital, but was not injured, police said.
It was unclear what caused the sudden acceleration and the collision remains under investigation.
Anyone with information was asked to call Officer R. Gay at (760) 839-4470.