Police: 81-year-old driver fatally hits pedestrian before crashing into Lakewood Wal-Mart

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LAKEWOOD, Colo. -- An elderly man driving near a Wal-Mart parking lot hit and killed a pedestrian Tuesday afternoon before crashing into a Wal-Mart store, the Lakewood Police Department said.

It happened outside the store at West Fourth Avenue and Wadsworth Boulevard about 2:10 p.m.

Witnesses said a silver Buick LeSabre heading east on Fourth Avenue went across several lanes of Wadsworth Boulevard. They said the car then hit a man on the sidewalk next to the Wal-Mart parking lot before crashing into the store.

The victim was taken to St. Anthony Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. On Wednesday, police identified the victim as 51-year-old Franklin Nelson of Colorado Springs.

There were no injuries in the store, police said. The 81-year-old driver, identified as Charles Tatman of Lakewood, told investigators he had trouble stopping the car. Tatum was taken to a hospital and treated for minor injuries.

Tatum was issued a summons for careless driving resulting in death. He will make a court appearance on an unknown date. Detectives do not suspect alcohol or drugs were a factor in the accident.

An inspector was called to check the structural damage at the store and it was determined to be sound despite damage to the side gate and wall.

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