Elderly Man Drives Wrong-Way Close to 20 Miles on Rt. 17 in Delaware County
An Ithaca man and other motorists on the Southern Tier Expressway in Delaware and Sullivan Counties are all okay after the 86-year-old driver with Dementia apparently traveled close to 20 miles going the wrong way on Route 17 early October 25.
Authorities at the 911 call center in Delaware County got over 30 calls about a wrong-way driver at 3 a.m. in the Deposit area.
New York State Police say the callers were unable to give a good description of the vehicle and Troopers were unable to find the driver.
911 Centers in Delaware and Sullivan Counties started getting more calls around 6:14 a.m. about an eastbound vehicle in the westbound lanes of Route 17 west of Exit 92 in the East Branch area.
State Troopers from the Liberty barracks finally located and stopped the man near exit 94.
Troopers say the man had been driving in opposing traffic lanes for at least 18 miles.
Investigators say the 86-year-old had not returned home on Sunday night and had been reported missing by his wife to the Ithaca Police Department just before Troopers started getting the calls about the wrong-way driver in Delaware County.
Authorities say the driver was confused and his wife reported he suffered from Dementia.
He was sent to Garnet Health Medical Center-Catskills for evaluation.
Troopers say there were no reported crashes resulting from the prolonged incident.
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