CAMBRIDGE, Ohio — A quick response by State Highway Patrol troopers and attentive driving by motorists traveling east on Interstate 70 in Guernsey County Thursday morning helped avoid a potential tragedy when an 88-year-old motorist was traveling the wrong direction on the highway.
Troopers were able to stop the westbound Cambridge resident near mile post 175 west of the city after initially receiving a report from Columbus that a vehicle was traveling the wrong direction five miles away at mile post 180.
Troopers “responded super quick and did an amazing job,” said Lt. Melanie Appleman, Cambridge post commander. “Everybody responds to a call like that and you think what could have happened. Thank God, nothing bad happened.”
The elderly driver reportedly suffers from memory issues which likely contributed to his traveling the wrong direction on I-70.
Patrol troopers requested United Ambulance check the well being of the man. According to local scanner traffic, he refused medical treatment and was later released into the custody of a relative.
After receiving the first report of many regarding a vehicle traveling west in the eastbound lanes of I-70, troopers converged on the area and were able to first get a visual on the sedan, and then get the vehicle stopped.
Trooper Shane Tysinger was the trooper able to get the elderly man to stop on I-70. He had reportedly stopped at the Cambridge post to conduct a relay to another post when the call was given to troopers.
Tysinger responded to I-70 and was the first to get behind the driver who then pulled onto the berm in the median. A tow truck was dispatched to remove the car from the highway.
Appleman also praised the work of the various patrol dispatchers involved in the call.
“Communication was the No. 1 reason this turned out so well,” she said. “It was a beautifully orchestrated response and they handled it seamlessly. That’s just what they do.”
The patrol transported the driver to the post on Glenn Highway while they worked to find a relative to take him home.
No accidents or injuries were reported during the incident.