Local

This driver was so confused he headed toward a tiki bar and nearly off an ocean pier

The driver of this SUV drove down Sunset Pier on Nov. 25, 2018, and then turned around before he stopped, a witness said.
The driver of this SUV drove down Sunset Pier on Nov. 25, 2018, and then turned around before he stopped, a witness said.

A 64-year-old driver was so confused that he drove onto a Key West pier and almost crashed into people Sunday night, police said.

The SUV also “came within a foot of the pier railing, where the vehicle would have gone into the ocean if [the driver] kept on driving,” Officer Alioht Valdes-Marrero write in a report on the incident.

The man drove his SUV past Ocean Key Resort, 0 Duval St., and onto the wooden pier at 8:34 p.m. Sunday. Several employees tried to get his attention, and one eventually stopped him and took his keys.

The driver, whose name was not released in the incident report, told police he wasn’t sure where he was and also not certain what day of the week it was.

He was placed into protective custody by police, who decided he was a threat to himself and others, and taken to Lower Keys Medical Center.

A witness described the driver as determined to keep going toward the tiki bar, which is at the entrance to the pier, once he ran out of road.

“I went in front of his car and waved my hands,” said Danielle Pozzi, who was working at Fury Water Adventures when the incident happened. “He just sped up and he went straight and I moved out of the way and I started chasing him.”

The pier wasn’t busy, she said, but a few people were there.

“Then he made a right and went straight down the pier,” Pozzi said. “People on the pier started screaming. Then he turns around and all the employees jump in front of the car.”

The driver told police he was on his way home — his Florida address also was redacted from the report — and had been driving for hours. He said he made a wrong turn and kept driving, police said.

Pozzi said the man had driven down from Tampa.

The man was not seriously injured but had a small bump on his forehead. His SUV’s front-right bumper had minor damage from hitting a wooden pole and a chair.

“He’s lucky he didn’t hurt anybody,” Pozzi said.

Police reached the man’s sister, who said she didn’t know her brother was in Key West and was unable to come get him.

  Comments