Driver apologizes after crashing into dialysis center in north Phoenix

Just before 1 p.m. last Wednesday, Palmer drove his car into Fresenius Kidney Care at 19th and Dunlap Avenues in north Phoenix.
Published: Aug. 14, 2023 at 8:33 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - The driver who crashed into a dialysis center building in north Phoenix last week is offering a public apology. The clinic is still closed while they clean up the damage.

Dialysis patient Matthew Palmer told Arizona’s Family he was behind the wheel during this incident, and driving is something he now will never do again.

He wants to apologize to the patients who got hurt after he accidentally drove his car into the clinic. Palmer is traumatized. “I can’t eat. I can’t sleep. When I do sleep, I see the image of these people that I could have really hurt. I could have lost my life,” he said.

Just before 1 p.m. last Wednesday, Palmer drove his car into Fresenius Kidney Care at 19th and Dunlap Avenues in north Phoenix. He was on his way to an appointment there with a social worker. “My flip flop got stuck, and it kept on the accelerator, and I panicked. I got scared,” he said. Three patients were hospitalized, but they are expected to be OK. “First thing I thought, they’re dead. I’m done,” said Palmer.

Palmer said he is hooked up to a dialysis machine at home every day for 10 hours. He finished treatment shortly before driving in that day, and he remembers feeling tired. “I made a horrible, horrible choice that day, and I’m going to regret it for the rest of my life,” he said.

The 58-year-old was a truck driver for decades. He said his health declined to the point where he had to retire six months ago. He’s been on dialysis for about a year. “No more driving. I gave up my license. I am giving up my car. There’s no way. I can’t. After seeing that there’s no way I’m going to get behind the wheel,” said Palmer.

Palmer said the experience put into perspective how fragile life is, and he hopes those who got hurt hear his apology. “My whole heart goes out to them. I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry,” he said.

Right now, the dialysis center is sending patients to other clinics in town as the damage to the building continues to be cleaned up and repaired. Phoenix police said Palmer would not be cited.

Full statement from Fresenius Kidney Care:

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