Is it time to start testing older drivers to make sure they aren't a danger to themselves or others?

For as long as we've been covering the local news in the Hudson Valley, it hasn't become any easier to learn about car accidents involving the elderly. Older people who have entered the stage of life where they're beginning to lose their coordination and decision-making skills are still allowed to operate huge, deadly pieces of machinery with no restrictions.

Sadly, many family members don't either have the courage or interest in taking away the keys when their parents become a danger to other drivers. There have been many debates over whether the government has the responsibility to make sure our elderly population is properly equipped to be out on the open road. Many agree that there should be a certain age when drivers need to retest to keep their licenses.

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Tragic Accident on Route 9 in Dutchess County

On Sunday afternoon, first responders received a 911 call about a two-car rollover crash on Route 9. According to police, the incident happened in front of the Cornucopia Deli in Red Hook.

The Red Hook Police Department says a 27-year-old man from Elizaville and his 15-month-old son were driving in a Chevy pickup truck when they were cut off by another vehicle pulling out of the deli.

The other car was a 2000 Volvo driven by a 77-year-old man from Red Hook. Police say the elderly man tried to pull out on Route 9 but failed to yield the right of way to the truck that was already driving in the northbound lane.

Red Hook Police Department
Red Hook Police Department
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The impact sent the Elizaville man and his child off the road, causing their vehicle to roll multiple times before finally crashing down on its side. The father and son were transported to Northern Dutchess Hospital where they were treated for what turned out to be non-life-threatening injuries.

As for the elderly driver, he refused medical attention on the scene. Red Hook Police issued the 77-year-old a traffic ticket for "failing to yield the right of way entering a roadway."

It's unclear if the driver's age had anything to do with the crash, but one would hope that his family will take precautions to make sure something like this doesn't happen again.

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Gallery Credit: Stacker

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