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Another farmers market hit by elderly driver

Florida crash injures 3; motorist blames stuck accelerator

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FLAGLER BEACH, Fla. — A 79-year-old disabled man lost control of his car and plowed into a farmers market Friday morning in this northern Florida town, injuring three people, officials said.

The man, a polio victim who uses a wheelchair when not driving, was leaving the market when he rammed three vehicles and several food stands, police said.

Louis Nirenstein, of Palm Coast, said in a telephone interview that his car's accelerator got stuck. "It wasn't my fault," he said. "I'm sorry about all those people being injured."

An elderly woman and a 7-year-old girl and her mother were treated at hospitals for minor injuries and released, police said. Both Nirenstein and a 14-year-old boy in the car were unhurt.

Charges against the driver were pending the outcome of an investigation, police said.

Last week, an elderly driver plowed into a farmers market outside Los Angeles, killing 10 and injuring 69.

Police said Nirenstein was allowed to park inside the market because of his disability. He was leaving the parking lot when his station wagon went across a lawn, hitting the other vehicles and turning into the crowd.

"People were flying everywhere," said Michael Cormier, who works at the market one block from the Atlantic in this town about 75 miles south of Jacksonville.

Nirenstein also told police the accelerator got stuck, Flagler Beach police Sgt. Todd Havener said.