State Police seal

An elderly man from Ithaca was stopped in the East Branch, New York area after driving the wrong way in opposing traffic for nearly 18 miles. Calls started coming in around 3 a.m. on Monday to Delaware County 911, with about 30 people calling to report a wrong-way driver on State Route 17 near Hancock. 

The callers were unable to give a clear description of the vehicle and responding state police and Delaware County Sheriff patrols were unable to locate a vehicle.  At approximately 6:15 a.m., Delaware County 911 & Sullivan County 911 centers started receiving additional phone calls that a vehicle was traveling eastbound in the westbound lanes west of exit 92 in the East Branch area.  Troopers from State Police barracks in Liberty responded and coordinated a road closure of Rt-17 east of exit 94 and were able to stop the vehicle after he was driving the wrong way in opposing traffic for at least 18 miles.

The investigation found that an 86-year-old man from Ithaca had not returned home the night before and had been reported missing by his wife to the Ithaca Police Department in the early morning hours, just prior to this encounter. The man, who was confused and reported by the wife to be suffering from Dementia, was transported by troopers to Garnet Health Medical Center-Catskills for a physical and mental evaluation. There were no reported accidents or injuries from this prolonged incident.

(1) comment

Richard Ballantyne

There should be mandatory driver competency exams administered by the DMV every 2 years for anyone age of 74 to 80, and every year for anyone age 81 and older. If the elderly fails the exam, then restrictions should be put on their license or it should be revoked depending on how poorly they perform.

Welcome to the discussion.

This is a space for civil feedback and conversation. A few guidelines: 1. be kind and courteous. 2. no hate speech or bullying. 3. no promotions or spam. If necessary, we will ban members who do not abide by these standards.

Recommended for you