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The traffic-related death of a 77-year-old man in the early hours of July 7 has caused much sadness among his acquaintances in the Midway District area.

According to a story on Channel 10 news, police said a "15-year-old driver missed a turn [onto Ingraham, off SeaWorld Drive]...and backed the SUV he was driving into oncoming traffic where he collided with a car.... The victim had to be cut from his car by rescue personnel" and was later pronounced dead at the hospital.

The victim, identified as Jim Cummins, was a fixture at the 7-Eleven on Adrian Street (off of Point Loma Boulevard). He would park his white LTD loaded with old newspapers in the corner spot every morning between 7 and 9 a.m., according to franchise owner Janelle. She said that Jim bought a sandwich, banana, and newspaper almost every day and that he was "so sweet" and would "bring her flowers" on occasion.

A 7-Eleven patron said they had spoken with Jim recently. She told me he suffered from curvature of the spine and that he admitted to her that he could not bring himself to throw away a newspaper. Extracting him from the wreckage was made more difficult by his collection of newspapers and other items he drove around with.

The hostess at Perry's Breakfast House on Pacific Highway told me that "Jim was a lovely man." He ate breakfast at the counter on a regular basis. Yes, while reading a newspaper.

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Gail Powell July 8, 2011 @ 9:47 p.m.

Jim's house down on Saratoga by the beach has candles, flowers and notes on the doorstep. I rode my bike by today & just had the most over-whelming sense of sadness also.


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