GRAND ISLAND, N.Y. (WIVB) - There are still a lot of unanswered questions about a deadly wrong-way crash on I-190 in Grand Island. Police say the driver possibly drove more than seven miles in the wrong lane, before hitting a car head on.
The big question is could Monday's fatal accident on I-190 have been prevented? This crash is once again reigniting the debate over whether elderly drivers should be tested annually.
In the blink of an eye, five lives were changed. A little after midnight Monday, two cars smashed into one another. New York State Police say 87-year-old Richard Hildebrand, of Kenmore, got onto I- 190 and drove the wrong way slamming into a vehicle carrying four people, causing three people to die.
But could it have been prevented? What if there was legislation that required the elderly to take a test every year to examine their driving skills?
New York State Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak says he's not opposed to it, but thinks the Department of Motor Vehicles needs to do a review and make recommendations.
Gabryszak said, "As far as would you implement a retesting and once that's done how often do you test afterwards."
The assemblyman says if the DMV and lawmakers work together, there's an opportunity to create a testing system that will get to the heart of the problem.
"I think the DMV probably could make some recommendations to the legislature in terms of what type of legislation would be needed to make sure that we're addressing the critical problems to make it a little bit easier for the medical community and or families," said Gabryszak.
For now, if families are noticing that an elderly loved one needs to get off the road, ECMC and DeGraff Hospital have testing centers. A spokeswoman for the Alzheimer's Association says if you have to take a license away it's important for families to create a strategy that works for everyone.
"Make a plan so that it's not just the absence of driving. The family, friends and community have to step in and help that person get around," said Leilani Pelletier, Alzheimer's Association Executive Director.
New York Assemblywoman Jane Corwin says elderly driver evaluations needs to be looked at closely.
In a statement, Corwin says it's important that lawmakers don't make a knee-jerk reaction to Monday's accident and discriminate against the elderly. She says she plans on looking at data before considering what changes need to be made to ensure public safety.
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