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100-year-old driver who injured 9 children has current license

A 100-year-old driver who injured nine children and two adults near a South Los Angeles school Wednesday afternoon had a current driver's license and no history of traffic violations, the Department of Motor Vehicles said.

Preston Carter, who will turn 101 on Sept. 5, was required to wear corrective lenses while operating a vehicle but had a clean driving record, according to the DMV. His license is valid until 2013. Earlier reports said Carter was 101.

Four of the children were injured seriously after Carter backed his 1990 Cadillac into a group of people shortly after classes let out at Main Street Elementary School about 2:30 p.m., the Los Angeles Fire Department said.

"I lost control of the car. The brakes failed, " Carter told KCBS Channel 7 News after the accident.

He said he was aware that he had hit people. "I'm sorry. I have sympathy for them," Carter said.

Crisis counselors were at the scene, near 53rd and Main Streets, to talk to children and their families, the Los Angeles Unified School District said.

Authorities at the scene said all the victims were in stable condition.


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Photo: Preston Carter, 100, sits in a chair following an accident in which his car struck a group of pedestrians, injuring nine children and two adults, near Main Street Elementary School.  Credit: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times

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