It’s every child’s worst nightmare to have their elderly parent stuck on the side of the road without anyone around to help, or any way to contact them.
911 operators were bombarded with calls about a woman on the side of Route 546, the Canadian-US border where the speed limit is 45 miles per hour. She wasn’t speeding, she wasn’t driving recklessly, but she was in danger. Her vehicle? A scooter that tapped out at 6 miles per hour.
The woman, in her eighties and still unidentified, had gone into town for coffee and got lost on the way home. When Trooper Dave Hintz of the Washington State Patrol found her, she was already four miles from home and going in the wrong direction.
When Trooper Hintz informed her that they’d received numerous calls about her, she rebuffed the idea that she was lost. She produced a map as evidence that she knew where he was going, but Trooper Hintz insisted that he get her home safely. Since her scooter couldn’t fit in the car he offered a police escort. On their seventy minute, three miles per hour trek back home, she got stuck on the side of the road and needed help getting back on her way.
To a few onlookers, the scene was disconcerting and the troopers were once again hit with barrage of phone calls regarding the snail’s pace pursuit that was unfolding on the side of the road. Hintz later defended himself saying, “I wasn’t trying to stop her. I wasn’t trying to detain her. I was just trying to get her back to her home.”
Trooper Hintz is the kind of person we all hope shows up should our elderly parents find themselves lost and lone. “I just treated her the way I would’ve wanted somebody to treat my mom,” he says.
Thank goodness for Trooper Hints! SHARE the love and pass it on!