Home NEWS Police/Fire Martinez Man Dies After Wife Drives Car Through Garage Wall

Martinez Man Dies After Wife Drives Car Through Garage Wall

Photo: CHP

An elderly Martinez man has died of injuries suffered when his wife accidentally accelerated their car through their garage Wednesday, trapping him under the vehicle and punching out the rear wall of the garage as the car surged forward.

CHP Officer John Fransen said the man, later identified as Glenn Cottrell, 89, was attempting to help his wife reposition the car by providing direction when his wife mistook the accelerator for the brake and drove over him.

Cottrell was taken to John Muir Hospital in Walnut Creek, where he was pronounced dead at 11:55 a.m., according to Fransen. The accident occurred in unincorporated Martinez in the 2600 block of Reliez Valley Rd.

Both husband and wife reportedly told first responders how the accident occurred, Fransen said.

Martinez police initially responded to the residence, but Fransen said the CHP is investigating the fatality, which he called “heartbreaking.”


  1. Wow. How awful!

    At 60 something, I know not to stand in front of or behind a running automobile.
    Will I still know that at 80? Hard to say.

  2. We are hoping the surviving spouse is getting some support from her family or friends right at what is undoubtedly a very sad time for her. Heartbreaking is a definite understatement.

  3. I was front-ended (?) at a traffic light this way. An elderly woman pulled very far forward in the left-hand turn lane (we had a green light, however not a protected green arrow) but decided not to turn left when the light turned yellow. So, she backed up when the light turned red to avoid being in the crosswalk.

    Unfortunately, she never put the car back in drive, instead leaving it in reverse. Despite my honking (and my temptation to get out of my car and run for my life), she never realized her error. When the left turn arrow turned green, I hoped like heck she would realize her error and put the car back into drive. Nope. She stomped on the accelerator, plowing into the front of my car. Luckily I wasn’t hurt; however, my car wasn’t so lucky. She was shaken up but otherwise unhurt as well.

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