NEW YORK STATE POLICE
Troop F Commander
On Monday, October 25, 2021 at approximately 3:00 a.m., Delaware County 911 reported receiving approximately thirty phone calls regarding a suspicious vehicle/wrong-way driver on State Route 17 in the Hancock, NY area. The callers were unable to give an adequate description of the vehicle. 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 travelling eastbound in the westbound lanes West of Exit 92 in the East Branch, NY area. 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 investigation found that an 86-year-old man from Ithaca, NY had not returned home last night 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.