DEARBORN, Mich. (WXYZ) - It is a heartbreaking story. A 98-year-old man from Dearborn is accused of driving his RV the wrong way on a Florida road, killing two teens.
Now - 7 Action News has learned someone raised concerns about his driving in the past. According to the Michigan Secretary of State’s office, just months ago, in September, someone reported concerns about Walter Roney’s ability to drive. On January 8th he took a test and passed, so he kept his drivers license.
Then on Tuesday night on Okeechobee Road in Fort Pierce, Florida, investigators say he was driving his RV the wrong way on the road and crashed into a 2013 Chevy Silverado. The driver of the Chevy, 17-year-old Santia Myriah Feketa and her passenger- 16-year-old Britney Lee Poindexter died. Roney and his passenger were injured, but survived.
The story hits home for many families with loved ones they think are losing the ability to drive safely.
“When it comes to taking the keys away, you really have to have an open conversation and understand that they have a life also,” said Stephen Novak, Owner of Visiting Angels in Rochester Hills, Sterling Heights & Port Huron.
His company provides social workers that can help families have this conversation and caregivers who can provide transportation to seniors. He says they a client who only give up their keys after a terrifying accident.That client has learned with support he can still have independence.
“He was resistant the whole time, but then after the accident I think that was the wakeup call he needed. Unfortunately it came a little too late. But we are helping him in that aspect,” said Novak.
It is unclear what lead to Roney needing to undergo reexamination. Laura Lehman at the Secretary of State's Office says a request for reexamination can come from concerned family members, law enforcement, doctors, or others.
The concerned persons just need to fill out a OC-88 form through the state. You can find more info about that out here.
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