Thursday, May 24, 2012

His life cut short at 101

He was 101 years old -- but not too old to inspire people of all ages.

It's a story that could have spread the word and maybe saved a life or two.

His friends say that Otto W. Jensen had the energy of a 20-year-old, the disposition Santa Claus and the kindness of a saint. When he was 99, his friends videotaped him sprinting across Olive Avenue to get from the senior center to his home and photography studio across the street.

It was in that exact spot that a 91-year-old woman's car hit him in the dimming dusk.

It's just a half block from where we live, so when the police helicopter was orbiting about us and the emergency vehicles were converging, I grabbed my video camera and, in true journalist spirit, scurried over and recorded the scene.

I didn't know anything about the victim until I called the Burbank Police watch commander later that night. He could only confirm that the pedestrian had died and that he was a 101-year-old man.