Elderly man crashes into county workers in Cayucos

June 25, 2019

An 81-year-old man crashed into and seriously injured two San Luis Obispo County workers on Tuesday afternoon in Cayucos. [Cal Coast News]

Shortly after 1 p.m., Michael Engelberg was driving northbound on Highway 1 at about 65 mph when he turned his car to what he thought was the Cayucos exit. Instead, he steered his car towards the intersection of Chaney Avenue and Ocean Boulevard where three county public works employees were working on a waterline.

One of the workers was able to get out of the way of Engelberg’s Honda.

The Honda crashed into Travis Holt, 38, of Paso Robles, propelling him into a nearby residence. The Honda then struck Justin Smith, 35, of Atascadero, who was pinned under the vehicle.

Smith and Holt suffered major injuries. Engelberg and his 31-year-old passenger, Aurora Wells, sustained moderate injuries.

Emergency personnel transported Smith, Holt and Engelberg to Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in San Luis Obispo.

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The sad think is these guys are sworn public service and responders just like fire and police the difference is there jobs are actually more likely to be hurt or killed ( if you dont belive it look it up streets worker vs fireman/ police) if these were fireman it would be national news. Instead no one really cares about the folks that bring you clean water, clean sewer, safe public streets and parks all the while barely making the cost of living.

I have witnessed so many “elderly” people that should NOT be behind the wheel and/or charged with Driving While Old (DWO) here in SLO Cty.

Just last week I was behind a very slow moving car that was exiting the NB 101 (like me) at Spring St in Paso. I couldn’t tell who was driving because I couldn’t see a head from behind them nor could I see eyes in their rear view mirror. After we stopped at a red light at the Niblick intersection, we continued straight on Spring when the car in question rubbed its driver side tires off of the center median causing the car to lerch to the right and almost went into that lane. Fortunately, the driver was going slower than ever in that 30 mph zone.

I quickly parked my SUV backwards in a small strip mall across from the Wells Fargo Bank to wait for my dog groomer to call me that my dog was ready. So I’m barely parked and looking around when in drives that same car from the far end of the parking lot and takes forever to park in a spot right in front of a hairdresser at that far end.

It turns out that it was a tiny, frail old lady. I’m not kidding you, it took her probably 4 minutes plus to park, open her car door, gather a cloth grocery bag/purse, slowly slide her legs over to stand up, then reversed course to grab a cane, slide her legs and cane out again onto the ground and then painfully stood up. After she finally stood up and gathered her wits and balance, she weakly closed her door and walked towards the hairdresser shop.

I watched every bit of that horror show. That was not an elderly lady I should be showing respect, that was a selfish old person endangering every last one of us on the road with her clear inability to physically handle the duties of SAFELY driving on public roads.

That is just the latest episode of what I see from older drivers in this aging area all the time. Navigating through SLO Cty is like being dropped into an amusement park bumper car ride. It’s scary that they get to drive unabated worse than some drunken drivers.

I close by saying that I’m no spring chicken either at 52 yo. Giving up my keys someday will be difficult but I am NOT selfish enough to go past the point of being a danger to myself and the unsuspecting general public.

I expect the DMV and LEO to assure the public that they are getting those types off of the road too.

Keep your head on a swivel out there folks. Per recent news reports, SLO Cty is only getting older as we are apparently the only ones that can afford this area.

sending healing prayers