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Daughter Says 89-Year-Old Mother Got Confused While Driving

DENVER (CBS4) – The daughter of a driver involved in a deadly accident says her mother often got confused and lost while driving.

Police say the 89-year-old drove the wrong way down E-470 Sunday night and hit another car head on near the Quincy exit, killing her and the other driver.

Just after 8 p.m. a report came to police about a car driving in the wrong direction on E-470. Just a few minutes earlier Aurora police had received a report of a missing woman, Odean Wheetley, who was about to turn 90. It turned out Wheetley was the driver going the wrong way on the highway.

A police report CBS4 received indicates Wheetley’s daughter said her mother had gone to lunch at 2 p.m., adding she often gets confused and lost while driving.

The driver of the other car was Grier Laughlin, 37. The three children in his car sustained minor injuries and have now been released from the hospital.

Wheetley’s age may or may not have been a factor on the foggy night.

In Colorado people over 66 must appear in person for a license renewal unless they provide an eye exam. Their licenses expire every 5 years instead of 10.

“Our driver’s license examiners can request that a retest be done,” Mark Couch with the Colorado Department of Revenue said. “There are other instances by which a reexamination can be requested.”

It can be requested by a law enforcement officer, a doctor or a family member.

No states forbid people to drive over a certain age, but plenty of them, including Colorado make driver’s license renewals and vision checks more frequent when people reach the golden years.


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