Elderly driver hits several homes, cars in search for hospital

Posted: Updated:
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

SUN CITY, Ariz. -- An 88-year-old man is in the hospital after driving more than 100 mph through a Sun City neighborhood, crashing into several homes and cars and taking out several street signs. He later told deputies he was looking for a hospital.

It happened just after 3 a.m. in the area north of 103rd and Olive avenues.

According to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, a Sun City ambulance crew was leaving Boswell Hospital, which is near 103rd Avenue and Thunderbird Road, when they saw the driver shoot past them.

The driver wound up on Andover Avenue.

Investigators were working to reconstruct the man's haphazard path through the neighborhood. He reportedly stopped, backed up and turned several times.

Video from a couple of the homes in the driver's path showed block walls that had been knocked over and cars that had been moved when they were hit.

"Just crunch, crunch -- [he] took out the front end of our neighbor's carport and moved a couple of cars," said Doug Kelsey, whose yard was damaged. "Apparently he backed in here or came in here frontwards and backed out and then went across the street."

It all came to an end in front of William Bichoff's home.

"I walked out on my porch and I saw my van pushed away from where I had it parked," Bichoff said. "My first thought was 'You've got to be kidding me.""

Investigators say the driver hit as many as 10 houses.

Deputies were able to talk to the man when he finally stopped in front of Bichoff's home. He told them he was looking for a hospital. Deputies said he drove right past it at one point.

Investigators do not believe drugs or alcohol were factors in the series of destructive crashes. Rather, they believe the man was suffering from some kind of medical issue. Deputies said he seemed to be disoriented.

That driver, whose name has not been released, was taken to a nearby hospital for evaluation. Despite several impacts, the man reportedly was not badly injured. He is expected to be just fine.

"I hope he's OK," Bichoff said. "I'm not happy about my van, but it's just a machine."

While the damage was widespread, no other injuries were reported.

It's not yet clear what kind of charges the man might face.