More complaints against driver of motorized wheelchair surface

More people are coming forward to say they believe Norman Tuplin, involved in a wheelchair collision last year in Saint John, is a danger to the public. Tuplin ran into a 92-year-old woman, who was seriously injured. She died two months later.

Norman Tuplin struck 92-year-old woman last summer, now others come forward with stories

Several more people have come forward to tell CBC of their concerns about Norman Tuplin's operation of his motorized wheelchair. (CBC)

More people are coming forward to say they believe Norman Tuplin, involved in a wheelchair collision last year in Saint John, is a danger to the public.

The double-amputee was driving his motorized vehicle in the City Market, when he struck and seriously injured 92-year-old Elinor Sheehan.

She was struck from behind and pinned to the ground, suffering broken ribs and whiplash.

She died two months later in hospice. Police investigated the accident, but it was decided there was not enough evidence to lay charges.

Marykate Sheehan says her mother's death was preventable. (CBC)
Sheehan's daughter Marykate Sheehan came forward earlier this week to say she believes her mother's death was preventable.

She has viewed video of the accident, and has questioned Tuplin's control and operation of the wheelchair around pedestrians.

That story has led others to comment about Tuplin's use of the wheelchair.

"I, too, was a victim of him," said Catherine Boudreau of Rothesay in an email. "I have called the police who say they can't do anything, that it is up to private businesses to bar him."

Elinor Sheehan was going to lunch in the City Market when she was struck by a motorized wheelchair. (CBC)
Mark McGraw of Saint John said on Facebook, "He has been this way for years - running people over and bumping into them. On no less than two occasions have I seen him be reprimanded by the people who run the Market."

John Buckley commented, "Yup, I had to dodge him once in King Square, could have sworn he aimed at me at full speed, but I thought maybe he just didn't see me."

Tuplin, responding to the initial story, has apologized for running into Sheehan.

Elinor Sheehan, 92, was badly injured in August when she was struck in the city market by Norman Tuplin, an 80-year-old amputee who depends on a wheelchair for mobility. She died two months later. (Submitted by Marykate Sheehan)
"All I can say to the family is that I am very sorry that it happened. I didn't want nothing like this to happen," he said.

He also maintained it was an accident. "When somebody jumps out in front of you, how do you stop?"

Tuplin told CBC he's had less than a handful of accidents, and says he's never struck anyone intentionally. 


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