Woman, 80, Killed as Car Rams Into Flower Shop

Times Staff Writer

An elderly woman was killed and another seriously injured Wednesday when their car allegedly ran a red light and plowed through a La Habra intersection, ramming two cars before smashing through the front of a flower shop.

Ilma Caple, 80, of El Monte died of massive internal injuries, while the driver, Nannie Herford, 81, of Duarte, suffered internal injuries and was hospitalized in serious condition.

The drivers of the other cars, Mireya Ortega, 26, of La Habra and Marie Garcia, 41, of Brea were not injured in the 9:25 a.m. accident, La Habra Police Sgt. Phil Stufflebean said.

Witnesses told police that Herford was southbound on Beach Boulevard when she went through a red light at the La Habra Boulevard intersection, Stufflebean said. Her Chevrolet Chevette hit the other two cars, and the accelerator apparently stuck, he said.

The car jumped a curb, sped across a parking lot and bashed through the storefront, coming to rest inside, Stufflebean said.

No one inside the flower shop was injured. But the building, nestled inside a small commercial center, was deemed uninhabitable by authorities because of extensive damage, Stufflebean said.

A medical helicopter took Caple to UCI Medical Center in Orange, but she died shortly after arrival, Stufflebean said. Herford was taken to Friendly Hills Regional Medical Center in La Habra, where a spokeswoman said she was treated in the emergency room before being admitted.

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