State Police locate missing elderly Ithaca driver after driving 18 miles the wrong-way on SR 17

State News

(WETM) – New York State Police located a missing 86-year-old Ithaca man who reportedly drove the wrong way on State Route 17 for at least 18 miles.

Delaware County 911 received approximately 30 phone calls on Oct. 25 around 3 a.m. of a wrong-way driver in the Hancock area. Additional calls came in to Delaware and Sullivan County 911 centers around 6:15 a.m. of a car traveling eastbound in the westbound lanes west of exit 92 near East Branch.

Troopers from State Police barracks in Liberty responded and coordinated a road closure of St-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 86-year-old driver was found to be confused and was reported by his wife as suffering from dementia. The man was transported by troopers to Garnet Health Medical Center-Catskills for a physical and mental evaluation.

State Police say there were no reported accidents or injuries from this prolonged incident.

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