Trooper intercepts 85-year-old woman driving wrong direction on I-15

File photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

WASHINGTON COUNTY  A woman reportedly suffering from Alzheimer’s disease drove the wrong way on Interstate 15 for several miles until she was stopped by a Utah Highway Patrol trooper.

Minutes earlier, her husband had reported her missing after she and the car disappeared when he briefly went into Dixie Regional Medical Center to get help for her condition.

Just before 11 a.m., troopers were dispatched to a wrong-way driver on I-15 near mile marker 13. She was driving a Honda Element that was traveling northbound in the southbound lanes, UHP trooper Chris Lewis said.

Troopers were also advised by dispatch that the 85-year-old driver reportedly had Alzheimer’s, he said.

The vehicle struck the concrete median at mile marker 14 and continued north for six more miles on the interstate as troopers were making their way to stop the vehicle.

Approaching mile marker 20, a few miles south of Leeds, the woman saw the lights flashing on a trooper’s patrol vehicle advancing in her direction, and she brought the Honda to a stop in the middle of the highway. The trooper assisted in moving the vehicle out of the way of oncoming traffic and onto the right shoulder.

Meanwhile, the woman’s husband was reporting her missing to police after she disappeared from the hospital, Lewis said. He had taken her to possibly get help for her Alzheimer’s. The husband ran into the facility “for only a second” but when he returned both the car and his wife were gone.

While officers were taking the missing persons report they were alerted to the wrong-way driver on the interstate “and put two-and-two together,” Lewis said.

“Thankfully no one was hurt and no other vehicles were involved in this – or we could be looking at something much worse,” he said.

The only damage was to the Honda from striking the median.

The investigation into the incident is ongoing, and no citations have been issued.

Email: cblowers@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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11 Comments

  • Real Life October 29, 2018 at 9:28 pm

    Why in the hell does she have a drivers license?

    • Mjohnson October 29, 2018 at 9:42 pm

      Did it say she has a driver’s licence? I must have missed that.
      Even if she doesn’t have one, would that have stopped her?

    • Redbud October 30, 2018 at 4:25 am

      What a dumb comment! She probably did not mean to intentionally put other people’s lives in danger. Obviously you’ve never had to deal with someone in your family with alzheimers. I hope after this event, the woman will get the medical care she needs. It’s an awful disease, and something we are all at risk of getting.

      • Real Life October 30, 2018 at 6:41 am

        Ok, but why is she driving? She obviously should not be behind the wheel.

        • Happy Commenter October 30, 2018 at 9:32 am

          Because she has alzheimer’s and didn’t know what she was doing, DUH!

  • KR567 October 29, 2018 at 10:56 pm

    LOL ! What the he!! is she even doing driving ?

  • hiker75 October 30, 2018 at 7:55 am

    How did she get the keys to the car?

    • Happy Commenter October 30, 2018 at 9:39 am

      Did you bother to read the piece?

      • Chris October 30, 2018 at 1:58 pm

        I did read the “piece”, and nowhere does it say how she got the keys. You could infer that the husband left them in the car, but it is not expressly indicated in the article.

        • Happy Commenter November 1, 2018 at 11:35 am

          People who are insecure about their intellect ask questions they know the answer to.

      • KR567 October 30, 2018 at 10:44 pm

        Maybe you should try reading the article

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