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Disoriented woman drives onto mall sidewalk

A 66-year-old woman was questioned by Merced police Saturday afternoon after she allegedly drove her car up onto a pedestrian walkway in front of the Merced Mall.

Lt. Andre Matthews of the Merced Police Department said the 2:20 p.m. incident took place in front of the Baskin Robbins ice cream store at the center of the mall. Officer Craig McKeeman investigated a report that a car was being driven in a pedestrian walkway in front of the mall. McKeeman determined the driver became disoriented and thought she was entering a parking area.

Matthews said the driver also had other medical problems that may have contributed to the incident. McKeeman issued the driver an order for re-examination and suspended her driving privileges pending approval by physicians and the state Department of Motor Vehicles.

The driver is also the primary caregiver for a dependent adult. Based on this information McKeeman was concerned about the impact that not being able to drive would have on the driver so the local Adult Protective Services Agency was notified to follow up with the driver.

"This was a minor incident, and we hope by having the driver re-evaluated it will improve her safety and the safety of our roadways," Matthews said. "Re-evaluation could result with something as simple as an eyeglass prescription, driving hours restriction or in the most serious circumstances a permanent revocation of a person's drivers license."

-- Doane Yawger