Advertisement

You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

John Ferreri Sr., a 97-year-old World War II veteran from Mamaroneck, N.Y., became confused while driving and wound up 125 miles from home. / Photo contributed

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - Mark Taylor, a Thruway Authority toll plaza supervisor in Canaan, N.Y., was nearing the end of his night shift at the when a clerk called him to her booth.

There he met John Ferreri, who handed Taylor his cellphone with Ferreri's worried son on the other end.

Taylor encounters lost motorists all the time, but this was different.

Taylor quickly learned that Ferreri, a 97-year-old World War II veteran from Mamaroneck, had become confused while driving over Memorial Day weekend and was now 125 miles from home.

"His son said, 'Don't send him down the Taconic,'" Taylor recalled. "You could tell he was really concerned."

Taylor made sure Ferreri didn't get back in his car and led him to the toll plaza office.

Even though it was late and some 30 minutes past his own home in Chatham, Taylor agreed to drive Ferreri to his son at the Selkirk toll barrier near Albany.

His son, John Ferreri Jr., was relieved to see his father. Earlier that evening, the elder Ferreri had called his sister and said he got lost driving to Stamford, Conn., and was in Yonkers. He tried to find his way back, but wound up near the Massachusetts border at the end of Interstate 90.

"I thank God that he made it to someplace where he could get help," said John Ferreri Jr. "I'm ever so thankful to Mark Taylor. The guy is a hero. The last thing he needed - at the end of a long shift on Memorial Day weekend - is this. ... Mark had this thing dropped in his lap, and he stepped up and acted with compassion and integrity and competence."

Ferreri said the incident was the first time his father showed a major sign of dementia, and he has since taken away his car keys.

"He accepted that and he realized that this is not something he would ever want to repeat or risk repeating," Ferreri said.

Taylor dismissed the notion that he did anything special.

"I'm not a hero," he said. "It's part of my job. I'm glad he was appreciative."

Seniors are the fastest growing group of drivers in the nation, with one-quarter of all drivers expected to be older than 65 by 2025.

"It becomes all the more important - as the population of senior drivers increases - the need to observe older drivers and to intercede when it's time to hand over the keys," said Robert Sinclair, AAA New York spokesman.

Families should get seniors evaluated if they start forgetting how to travel to familiar places or they get into repeated minor accidents, Sinclair said.



Copyright 2014 USATODAY.com

Read the original story: Toll plaza boss saves lost senior 125 miles from home

More In

test

Real Deals

Flip, shop and save on specials from your favorite retailers in central Ohio.

GET DEALS | COUPONS

Things To Do

THU
23
FRI
24
SAT
25
SUN
26
MON
27
TUE
28
WED
29

CLASSIFIEDS

Classifieds from across Central Ohio
Lancaster
Chillicothe
Newark
Marion
Bucyrus
Mansfield
Zanesville
Coshocton

Weeklies & Shoppers

10TV Headlines

Dispatch Headlines

METROMIX