Woman Drives Up Library Steps

Yesterday afternoon, a woman got her boot caught on her car’s accelerator, and drove straight up the steps of the downtown branch of JMRL. WINA’s picture is totally great:

Car on Library Steps

WINA’s got the story, but you pretty much know it all now.

14 Responses to “Woman Drives Up Library Steps”


  • For no reason that’s clear to me, I saw the Kucinich sticker on her car and thought “oh, well, that explains that.” :)

  • I don’t see the problem – there’s not a “No Parking” sign on the steps.

  • Yes it’s a great photo, and we can all get a chuckle out of it since no one was hurt. Before we enjoy such a cheap easy chuckle at that photo let’s remember the man in Santa Monica California who mistook his accelerator for his brake, and killing 8 people and injuring 45 when he plowed through a Farmers Market. What she did is at the very least dumb and inexcusable. There could just as easily been people on those stairs. That charges were not filed against her should be appalling to everyone.

  • What charges, would you say?

    Shit happens. I think it’s fairly obvious that this was a mistake that could have been tragic, but thankfully was not. I don’t see any reason to believe there was any malice or negligence, so I really don’t see any criminality.

  • I agree with Dan — I don’t see what public good would be served by filing criminal charges. The dude in Santa Monica essentially went on a rampage and killed 8 people. She drove 10 feet up some steps. I’m having a hard time activating the appalled part of my brain.

  • Wrong. The guy in Santa Monica didn’t “go on a rampage.” The Santa Monica incident was no more malice then this incident was. The fellow was an elderly person who turned onto a temporarily closed off street which was the host to a very large farmers market, and he hit the gas instead of the brake (issue there was how old is too old to drive). Yes it’s a cute picture, but I’m a cynic, I’m not buying the excuse.

  • Well, if you ever make a mistake, I’m sure you’ll insist that charges be filed against you. But me – count me in the ‘shit happens’ pool. She should pay to have the steps fixed (one broken step and a bent handrail) and thats all. I think having to stand around in public next to your car on the library steps is public punishment enough.

  • The guy in Santa Monica didn’t “go on a rampage.” The Santa Monica incident was no more malice then this incident was.

    I ain’t talking about malice, I’m talking about end results. If you kill 8 people accidentally, that’s a pretty huge accident. If you drive up some steps, that’s not such a problem.

  • do we really want a culture in which all mistakes are uniformly and draconianally (sp?) punished? or can we evaluate individual cases and make judgment calls as to when charges ought to be filed or not filed?

    i’m thinking of that absolutely horrific story out of orange county, of the 4YO boy killed by his family dog. yeah, arguably, his parents made a mistake by leaving him alone outside for 10 minutes with the dog (who was on a chain, but still in the same yard). should the parents be charged with negligence in the death of their child? it seems that according to trvln man’s logic, we should be appalled that these parents are “getting away” with something.

    just for the record and for clarity’s sake, I am glad charges weren’t filed against those parents. what purpose would be served?

  • In all fairness I’ve considered the other comments and come to the conclusion that my initial comment was too strongly worded. And I’ll agree with Urbanitas when he said, ” I think having to stand around in public next to your car on the library steps is public punishment enough.”

    My only purpose with my previous comments was that while a person looks at that picture and enjoys the chuckle, that they also consider what could have happened but thankfully did not. The lack of any real information about the driver except that a “heel” was stuck in the accelerator, leaves a large opening for interpretation about the situation, which for the purpose of discussion I did freely. In any other city a ticket would been issued, and that would’ve been appropriate to this situation.

    That Cecil draws the conclusion he does about my “logic.” Makes it clear to me that I failed in making my intended point. I do not believe I suggested at any point in my prior posts a uniformity of punishments. Nor am am I so heartless or cruel that I would think a couple who had lost their child from a momentary lapse of attention deserved punishment. That they lost a child is a pain beyond imagination. One cannot make a reasonable comparison between the loss of a child amongst a family and an Auto on the front steps of a public library. They are situations that are entirely too divergent.

    My opinions are as always just that. All of that said, this should be my last post on this subject.

  • My only purpose with my previous comments was that while a person looks at that picture and enjoys the chuckle, that they also consider what could have happened but thankfully did not.

    Quite right — it could have been much worse, and is more than a “hey, that’s funny” photo.

  • The foot gear worn by the driver was an orthopedic boot.

    I don`t know but it is my guess this is a cumbersome piece of gear and I can understand how it could cause an accident especially if it is a new experience for the driver.

    Should one drive wearing an orthopedic boot? Well, obviously not around the library steps.

  • FWIW, my first thought when I saw the picture was a kind of half-horrified “geez, lucky no one got smashed under that car!” and I thought things like how glad I was not to be walking on the steps with my little boy when a car comes roaring backwards up it. THEN once I had thought that, I moved on to smile at the amusing nature of the picture itself. So I think everyone DOES do the simultaneous chuckle/shudder when they see a picture like this.

    I just have this personal obsession with the issue of mistakes/accidents–it seems to me that increasingly there is just no room for honest error in our culture. Part of this issue is linked to our lawsuit-happiness–people are getting sued for things that in another era would have been written off as honest mistakes. It’s funny to me because on the one hand we have the saying “shit happens,” a very popular saying and presumably a widespread philosophical position–but on the other hand with all the lawsuits, it seems that people DON’T really think “oh well, shit happens!” they think “i should never have to be the victim of a mistake” and they sue. I think the difference is that people think “shit happens” when they’re not personally affected by the mistake but when it happens TO them, then it’s another story.

    waldo, i apologize for using the word shit on your site so much in one post.

  • waldo, i apologize for using the word shit on your site so much in one post.

    I revel in the knowledge that, unlike with PostNuke, the word “shit” can appear here without being automatically censored. :)

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