An 85-year-old Placentia woman who was missing overnight Friday turned up severely injured in a car accident in Bakersfield on Saturday, officials said.
Gladys F. Lewis was last seen leaving her home at 5 p.m. Friday to go to a weekly meeting and somehow ended up in the Bakersfield crash the next morning, Placentia Police Lt. Dave Taylor said.
Her 59-year-old son, Floyd Lewis, told investigators that she drove herself to a meeting at the Amaranth Club in Anaheim on Friday evening, a trip she made routinely by taking side streets instead of the freeway.
“Her son said she never drives on the freeway and takes the same side streets every week,” Taylor said.
When the woman didn’t return home by 11 p.m., Floyd Lewis called his mother’s friends, who told him she didn’t show up at the meeting. By 1:30 a.m., he contacted police and reported her missing. Eight hours later, a Bakersfield California Highway Patrol officer found her car smashed into the 99 Freeway center divider near the 1st Street exit, Taylor said.
Gladys Lewis was taken to Delano Hospital in Bakersfield, where she remained on a respirator in the intensive care unit.
It remained unclear Saturday why Gladys Lewis was in the Bakersfield area and what caused the collision. Taylor said the case is still under investigation.