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George Russell Weller

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 18, 2009 | Maura Dolan
The California Supreme Court refused Thursday to review the conviction of an elderly man who plowed his car through the Santa Monica farmers market in 2003, killing 10 people and injuring 63. As a result, his conviction stands. George Russell Weller was 86 on July 16, 2003, when he crashed his 1992 Buick LeSabre through a wooden-and-plastic barricade and plowed through pedestrians at the open-air market. Though lasting less than 20 seconds, the mayhem claimed, among others, an infant, a 3-year-old, a married couple, a homeless man and an octogenarian.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 5, 2011 | By Martha Groves, Los Angeles Times
Nearly eight years after an elderly driver sped through the Santa Monica Farmers Market, killing 10 and injuring dozens, the city is poised to install new signs, highway-style barricades and "dragnets" capable of stopping errant vehicles. The system, in the planning for three years, is slated to be in place by the end of May at entrances to the downtown markets on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The key new safety feature will be nets, resembling those on tennis courts, with heavy-duty cables running across the top and bottom.
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OPINION
August 6, 2004
What a colossal waste of taxpayer money for the National Transportation Safety Board to blame metal barriers as a factor in the July 2003 Santa Monica Farmers' Market carnage ("Flimsy Barriers Cited in Crash," Aug. 4). Even worse is the agency's suggestion that cars should now be manufactured with black boxes to analyze accidents, which would certainly increase new car prices. Where is the common sense here? The only black boxes needed are those in which families should lock the keys of elderly and arrogant relatives who insist on driving when they have had recent accidents and their mental acuity is compromised.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 18, 2009 | Maura Dolan
The California Supreme Court refused Thursday to review the conviction of an elderly man who plowed his car through the Santa Monica farmers market in 2003, killing 10 people and injuring 63. As a result, his conviction stands. George Russell Weller was 86 on July 16, 2003, when he crashed his 1992 Buick LeSabre through a wooden-and-plastic barricade and plowed through pedestrians at the open-air market. Though lasting less than 20 seconds, the mayhem claimed, among others, an infant, a 3-year-old, a married couple, a homeless man and an octogenarian.
OPINION
October 24, 2006
Re "Driver Guilty of Felony in Market Crash," Oct. 21 A just verdict was delivered in the George Russell Weller case. The families of the victims deserved such vindication on behalf of their loved ones. The verdict should serve notice on the Department of Motor Vehicles, which has renewed the licenses of incompetent elderly drivers without sufficient testing, and municipalities like Santa Monica, which negligently allowed its farmers market to be operated in the street, without adequate safety barriers.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 5, 2011 | By Martha Groves, Los Angeles Times
Nearly eight years after an elderly driver sped through the Santa Monica Farmers Market, killing 10 and injuring dozens, the city is poised to install new signs, highway-style barricades and "dragnets" capable of stopping errant vehicles. The system, in the planning for three years, is slated to be in place by the end of May at entrances to the downtown markets on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The key new safety feature will be nets, resembling those on tennis courts, with heavy-duty cables running across the top and bottom.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 23, 2006 | John Spano, Times Staff Writer
Ten people died because octogenarian George Russell Weller confused the gas pedal with the brakes and raced his big Buick through an open-air market three years ago, a top state accident investigator testified Friday. Bolstering the defense argument that the incident was an accident, not a crime, Richard Wong said the California Highway Patrol investigation he headed came to the conclusion that "pedal error" by Weller, now 89, is the best explanation for the Santa Monica Farmers' Market tragedy.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 30, 2006 | Jonathan Abrams, Times Staff Writer
An elderly Altadena motorist who drove his car into a crowded patio outside a Starbucks in El Monte on Friday night probably won't face charges, authorities said Saturday. In an accident reminiscent of the 2003 Santa Monica Farmers' Market crash, Ted Kawashima, 85, apparently mistook his gas pedal for the brake, causing his car to plow into the sidewalk patio filled with patrons.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 4, 2006 | John Spano, Times Staff Writer
Jurors virtually sat behind George Russell Weller's steering wheel Tuesday, seeing a specially prepared graphic re-creation of his deadly 20-second drive through an open-air market three years ago. With the view that the 86-year-old Weller had through the windshield of his 1992 Buick, jurors could see and feel jarring impacts as he crashed at freeway speeds through the crowded market, striking dozens of stalls and injuring more than 70 people, 10 of them fatally.
OPINION
July 18, 2003
Re "Car Plows Through Crowd in Santa Monica, Killing 9," July 17: I attended the Santa Monica Farmers' Market on Wednesday, as usual. With one exception. I came without my daughter, which made my trip along Arizona go a few minutes faster. Minutes that saved my life. After having just rounded the corner off Arizona to 2nd Street, I heard the commotion. I went back to an unbelievable sight of blood, mayhem and an unearthly stillness. I sat with one victim and gazed at the critically injured around me. The row of victims went on down the street.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 22, 2006 | John Spano, Times Staff Writer
A day after George Weller was placed on probation, his lawyers say his trial was a waste of time and money because their client was willing months ago to plead guilty to vehicular manslaughter in the deaths of 10 people at the Santa Monica Farmers' Market. But Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley said Tuesday that Weller still had not accepted responsibility for the highest number of pedestrian fatalities from a traffic accident in California history.
OPINION
October 24, 2006
Re "Driver Guilty of Felony in Market Crash," Oct. 21 A just verdict was delivered in the George Russell Weller case. The families of the victims deserved such vindication on behalf of their loved ones. The verdict should serve notice on the Department of Motor Vehicles, which has renewed the licenses of incompetent elderly drivers without sufficient testing, and municipalities like Santa Monica, which negligently allowed its farmers market to be operated in the street, without adequate safety barriers.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 22, 2006 | Steve Hymon and Jean Merl, Times Staff Writers
They squeezed cantaloupes, bought apples and sipped coffee -- like patrons and vendors always do Saturday mornings at the popular Santa Monica Farmers' Market. But just beneath the surface of their banter, many were quick to express strong opinions about the conviction of 89-year-old George Russell Weller, who killed 10 people when he plowed his Buick through the market three years ago.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 21, 2006 | John Spano and Martha Groves, Times Staff Writers
Rejecting the portrait of an old man who made a tragic mistake in his maroon Buick, a jury Friday found George Russell Weller guilty of felony manslaughter for running down and killing 10 people at the Santa Monica Farmers' Market in a case that set off a debate about licensing older drivers. Weller, 89, was allowed to miss the trial because he is ailing, and he was not in Los Angeles County Superior Court when the verdict was read. He could be sentenced to 18 years in prison.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 10, 2006 | John Spano, Times Staff Writer
As jurors begin their first full day of deliberations today in the Santa Monica Farmers' Market trial, they face an unusual twist: Key law enforcement officers testified for the defense of George Weller, the 89-year-old charged with manslaughter in the deaths of 10 shoppers.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 7, 2006 | John Spano, Times Staff Writer
Jurors were told to listen to the dead as they began deliberations Friday in the case of George Weller, on trial for 10 counts of manslaughter after he drove his car through an open-air market three years ago. "Dead bodies do speak," Deputy Dist. Atty. Ann Ambrose said in her closing arguments. "They do tell you something. They tell you where they were. They tell you of their injuries."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 21, 2006 | John Spano, Times Staff Writer
George Russell Weller felt he was lucky that he didn't have to pass a driving test the last time his California license was renewed, he told police after he drove through the Santa Monica Farmers' Market, killing 10 people and injuring more than 60 three years ago. Weller, now 89, told police that he took a written test, but wasn't required to show that he could drive safely. "I lucked out," Weller said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 26, 2006 | John Spano and Michael Muskal, Times Staff Writers
More than an hour after he drove through the Santa Monica Farmers' Market, leaving 10 people dead, George Russell Weller sat in a stark room at the police station shrouded in misery and frustration. "In that course of that one block, I knocked over those stands and hit those people," Weller, then 86, said the day of the 2003 tragedy. "When I finally came to a rest, [I said,] my God, what have I done?"
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 6, 2006 | John Spano, Times Staff Writer
Jurors should believe dozens of Santa Monica residents who saw George Weller repeatedly turn the wheel, hit the brakes, and accelerate his car through a farmers' market three years ago, the prosecutor said Thursday. If Weller could see and steer, he could have stopped before killing 10 pedestrians, Deputy Dist. Atty. Ann Ambrose said in closing arguments in Weller's manslaughter trial. The prosecution closed its case against Weller, now 89, on Thursday.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 4, 2006 | John Spano, Times Staff Writer
Jurors virtually sat behind George Russell Weller's steering wheel Tuesday, seeing a specially prepared graphic re-creation of his deadly 20-second drive through an open-air market three years ago. With the view that the 86-year-old Weller had through the windshield of his 1992 Buick, jurors could see and feel jarring impacts as he crashed at freeway speeds through the crowded market, striking dozens of stalls and injuring more than 70 people, 10 of them fatally.
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