Man Killed After Wife Mistook Gas Pedal for Brake Identified

July 30, 2015 11:35 am · 12 comments

The Contra Costa County coroner’s office today identified a man who was killed on Wednesday after his wife mistakenly hit the gas pedal instead of the brake and ran over him in a car at their home near Martinez.

Glenn Cottrell, 89, was giving his wife directions as she tried to reposition a Toyota Corolla inside a garage at their home in the 2600 block of Reliez Valley Road, according to the coroner’s office and California Highway Patrol Officer John Fransen.

Fransen said the woman, who is also in her 80s, accidentally stepped on the accelerator instead of the brake pedal. The car struck Cottrell before crashing through the back wall of the garage and pinning him underneath.

Cottrell was alive and conscious when medical crews arrived and even provided a statement to investigators, Fransen said.

Medical crews were called to the house at 10:46 a.m., but Cottrell died at the hospital just over an hour later, Fransen said.

annon July 30, 2015 at 12:15 PM

Payers go out to both the deceased and the wife! I feel bad for the elderly wife that has to live with this horrific accident in her mind . May he rest in peace and may she live in peace within herself knowing it was a freak accident.

GoGo Gomez July 30, 2015 at 12:28 PM


I feel so bad for the wife.

anonanonagain July 30, 2015 at 12:31 PM

This is so sad and tragic. We hear all the time how the elderly mistake the brake and the gas pedal and do some damage to buildings and such but this is heartbreaking and unbelievably sad. Hopefully the trolls and couch surfers will have some empathy and leave this one alone. Have some decency people. RIP……

foggie July 30, 2015 at 1:46 PM

COULD HAPPEN TO ANYONE, no age related comments please ,whippersnappers! karma is real

Justin July 30, 2015 at 2:14 PM

Sad, but clearly shouldn’t have been driving any more.

dutch July 30, 2015 at 3:40 PM

It’s tragic I know but I can’t help but wonder what the hell he said to her before she nailed him. Sorry folks but I could just see my wife doing that to me if I made a rude comment or at least she’d threaten to do it. But seriously now, accidents do happen and I can’t imagine what she’s going through right now. My prayers will be going out to her.

sam July 30, 2015 at 6:13 PM

@dutch, no need to apologize; I am also one who well knows, their are even some very elderly people, who can and do perpetrate any malicious act, they so choose and this is not an opinion, this is a categorical fact; of course, it is up to law enforcement investigators to thoroughly investigate such incidents.

sam July 30, 2015 at 6:25 PM

I accidently left my loaded gun out on the table and my child killed themselves or killed someone else, I accidently turned my back and my child drowned in the pool, I accidently left my child and or pet in the car and they died from exposure, etc., etc., etc. On the surface, all good hearted souls would prefer to think all such questionable deaths, as merely tragic accidents and our hearts go out to their loved ones, yet, some of these tragic “accidents”, through thorough police investigations, turn out to be, everything to the contrary.

sam July 30, 2015 at 6:40 PM

If someone caused the death of your loved one (a person or one of our animal friends), let us never, so readily dismiss the death of someone or something else.

Silva July 30, 2015 at 7:52 PM

I don’t suppose the husband’s statement counts for much, eh sam?

sam July 30, 2015 at 11:35 PM

@silva, very good, a debate!!! of course, given both of their very advanced years, there is a much higher probability that this tragic unfolding of events, may have exactly what it appears, on the surface, simply a tragic accident; but the fiend inside of me whispering in my ear, “the wife may have been just tired of it and took the opportunity to “clean house”. Neither one of us categorically knows, for a fact, what was going on in his wife’s head; all I am saying is let us never so readily dismiss anyone or anything’s death, caused by another, without conducting a thorough police investigation.

Silva July 31, 2015 at 8:19 AM

sam (#11) No arguement there. The thought of an investigation probably saved my husband’s life on numerous occasions. 😉

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