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Woman with dementia causes traffic accident

Sept. 21, 2010

An elderly woman with dementia crashed her vehicle into a parked car and drove off but didn't recall the accident when officers pulled her over a few minutes later.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

An 88-year-old woman was seen stopped on North Avenue in the turn lane to Menomonee River Parkway on Sept. 12. There was no cross traffic, but she failed to make the turn. The driver behind her honked her horn.

The senior drove over the curb and struck a stop sign, then continued onto the parkway, swerving from side to side. Eventually, her vehicle mounted the curb and nearly struck a telephone pole before re-entering the roadway and striking a parked car with a 67-year-old woman sitting inside.

The 67-year-old woman was taken to Froedtert Hospital for treatment of neck and back pain.

Witnesses tried to stop the elderly woman, but she drove off. She was pulled over by an officer in the 1500 block of Swan Boulevard at 5:28 p.m. She seemed disoriented and couldn't answer basic questions.

A tire was missing from the elderly woman's vehicle and the wheel had been destroyed. Her car had extensive front-end and passenger-side damage.

Her daughter was called to the scene. She said her mother suffered from dementia and her driving skills had declined. Her family planned to have a meeting to discuss stopping her mother from driving.

Due to the dementia, no citations were issued. However, the woman received a driver re-evaluation form that could result in her license being taken away.

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