Police Say New York State Man Drove 18 Miles in the Wrong Direction on Route 17
Watch out! A potentially fatal accident was thankfully averted early Monday morning after police stopped a vehicle going in the wrong direction on a major state highway. In fact, it may be a bit of miracle that there wasn't any sort of incident, considering the driver drove in the wrong direction for 18 whole miles, according to officials. But this doesn't appear to be a case of impaired driving or ill intent. Sadly, according to the driver's wife, the man behind the wheel suffers from dementia.
WBNG is reporting that the calls to dispatchers started coming in early Monday, when reports of a vehicle traveling in the wrong way on Route 17 in Delaware County started pouring in. Both New York State Police and the Delaware County Sheriff's Office took to the roads to search for the vehicle, though they didn't have a clear description of what exactly they were looking for. But they knew they had to catch up with whoever it was on the wrong side of the road or else there could be huge problems. A little later that morning, dispatchers in Delaware and Sullivan Counties received calls of the same vehicle travelling east in the westbound lane of Route 17. This time, law enforcement was able to set a up a road closure and finally stop the driver.
WBNG says that the driver is an 86-year-old Ithaca man who had been reported missing by his wife. Officials took the man to a nearby medical center for evaluation. But while this was a case of someone who couldn't fully help what they were doing, there are plenty of other drivers out there who just plain suck sometimes. This case happened a few weekends ago on Route 9 near the Poughkeepsie Galleria. Fortunately, it was early afternoon and the traffic wasn't too terrible, or this could have turned into quite the accident. We saw an Odyssey that seemed to be jerking forward at the lights, and then suddenly breaking for no reason while they were driving. The vehicle was also swerving at times, and this driver was no aware of what they were doing. Something wasn't right. But were they drunk? Not entirely sure, but once we finally passed we noticed why the late middle-aged woman was not focusing on the road. This lady was reading a book while she drove. Not a big floppy map, or some sort of vehicle manual. No. It was a paperback book of some sorts, perhaps a novel, and it looks like they were quite a ways through. The driver had their left hand loosely on the wheel, while their right one held the book in front of them. How she didn't cause an accident is anyone's guess.