New Older Driver Data Trends in Upward Direction

New Older Driver Data Trends in Upward Direction

May 8, 2014 – Nancy White

Washington, D.C. –  According to a new report from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, older Americans are extending their time behind the wheel compared to previous generations.  For example, 84 percent of Americans 65 and older held a driver’s license in 2010 compared to barely half in the early 1970s. Today, one in six drivers on U.S. roads are ages 65 and older and this new research shows an increased automobility of older drivers with travel patterns indicating about a 20 percent increase in trips and a 33 percent increase in miles travelled between 1990 and 2009.

While upward trends indicate greater mobility for the silver tsunami, the Understanding Older Drivers: An Examination of Medical Conditions, Medication Use and Travel Behaviors report reveals that 90 percent of older drivers also use prescription medications with two-thirds taking multiple medications. Previous Foundation research has shown that combinations of medications, both prescription and over- the-counter, can result in an impairment in safe driving ability.

“This level of medication use does raise concerns, yet evidence indicates seniors are fairly cautious,” said AAA Foundation President and CEO Peter Kissinger. “In fact, these findings show that older drivers using medications are more likely to regulate their driving – reducing daily travel, avoiding driving at night or driving fewer days per week.”

The report also reveals gender differences when it comes to medication-use behind the wheel.  Older women that use medications are more likely to regulate their driving compared to men and, even without a medical condition, female drivers drive less than their male counterparts with a medical condition.

Additional key highlights from the report include:

  • 25 percent of men and 18 percent of women remain in the workforce after age 65, resulting in more than double the work-related commutes for drivers 65 and older compared to 20 years ago.
  • 68 percent drivers age 85 or older report driving five or more days per week.
  • Three-quarters of drivers ages 65 and older with a medical condition report reduced daily driving.
  • Self-regulatory behavior, among those taking multiple medications or having a medical condition, declines with increasing income.  Female drivers ages 65-69 with an annual income under $13,000 were 62 percent more likely to restrict nighttime driving than women with incomes over $70,000.

Knowing that medication use is very high among senior drivers, the AAA Foundation and AAA developed confidential, educational tools such as Roadwise Rx to help seniors and their families understand common side-effects of prescription and over-the-counter medications, herbal supplements and foods.

“AAA’s Roadwise Rx is an online tool that generates personalized feedback about how these interactions between prescription and over-the-counter medicines and herbal supplements can impact safety behind the wheel,” said AAA’s Director of Traffic Safety Advocacy, Jake Nelson. “Drivers are encouraged to discuss the confidential results with their doctor or pharmacist to learn how to mitigate possible crash risks.” To access all the free resources AAA offers to senior drivers, visit

The AAA Foundation study primarily analyzed the most recent data from two national databases – the 2009 National Household Travel Survey (NHTS) and the 2011 National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS).

Established by AAA in 1947, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit, publicly-supported charitable educational and research organization. Dedicated to saving lives and reducing injuries on our roads, the Foundation’s mission is to prevent crashes and save lives through research and education about traffic safety. The Foundation has funded over 200 research projects designed to discover the causes of traffic crashes, prevent them, and minimize injuries when they do occur.  Visit for more information on this and other research.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 54 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at

Source: Newsroom – AAA

Task-Oriented Exercise May Help With Mild Memory Loss

Task-Oriented Exercise May Help With Mild Memory Loss

June 25, 2014 – Reuters


An exercise program that challenges the mind while mimicking daily tasks may improve mental functioning in older adults with mild cognitive decline, according to a new study.

The trial found significant positive changes, lasting several months, among seniors with memory and thinking changes serious enough to be noticed by others but not so severe as to interfere with daily life.

“I think it’s an interesting study and it adds to the evidence that physical as well as cognitive abilities could help with increasing cognitive function in older adults,” Dr. Zaldy Tan told Reuters Health. Tan, who was not involved in the study, is medical director of the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care Program at the University of California, Los Angeles.

People with so-called mild cognitive impairment are at increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. But past research shows that both exercise and mental stimulation can spur the brain to make new cells, which might reverse or delay mental decline, according to the study team.

The researchers led by Lawla Law, an occupational therapist at the James Cook University’s school of public health in Queensland, Australia, tested a 10-week regimen of task-oriented exercise they call FcTSim (Functional Task Simulation).

The FcTSim program includes tasks such as placing and collecting cups and bowls with specific rules and patterns of movement.

“Daily functional tasks are innately cognitive-demanding and involve components of stretching, strengthening, balance and endurance as seen in traditional exercise programs,” the authors write in Age and Ageing.

“Although the functional tasks involved in the FcTSim program are simple placing/collection tasks that most people may do in their everyday life, complex cognitive interplays are required to enable us to see, reach and place the objects to the target position,” they write.

To assess the effects of the mental challenge combined with exercise, the researchers recruited 83 older adults from a neighborhood in Hong Kong. The participants were between the ages of 60 and 88 years old and met the criteria for mild cognitive impairment.

Forty-three of the participants were placed in the functional-task exercise program and completed 13 sessions over the course of 10 weeks. Each session included a short warm-up with stretching, 30 minutes of exercise and a brief cool-down.

The remaining participants served as a comparison group and continued their regular cognitive training, which consisted of computer-based cognitive exercises plus paper-and-pencil homework assignments.

Compared to their performance at the start of the study, the FcTSim group showed significant improvement at the 12-week point in general cognitive function, memory, executive function, functional status and everyday problem solving skills.

The comparison group improved as well, but not as much as the FcTSim group and not in the categories of functional status or everyday problem-solving ability.

“I think there are several things about the study that prevent us from drawing broad conclusions, including that it was a relatively short period of time and a small group,” Tan said. “It was done in a Chinese population so these are some of the issues that may make it challenging to form conclusions but certainly it’s encouraging.”

Tan noted that as our population ages and more and more people get into mild cognitive impairment, there’s an opportunity for researchers to look for other factors that can be modified to possibly prevent or delay mild cognitive impairment from getting worse.

“We need larger studies, perhaps in the United States and in European populations as well, and for longer periods of time because ultimately the question we all want to answer is whether physical activity and cognitive activity can prevent someone with mild cognitive impairment from progressing into dementia,” he said.

Source: Fox News

Elderly Woman Dies From Injuries in Monroe Co. Crash

Elderly Woman Dies From Injuries in Monroe Co. Crash

June 16, 2014 – NBC 24 Newsdesk

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office are investigating a fatal crash Monday afternoon on Stewart Road.

Officials said 84-year-old Rita M. Evans, of Monroe, was leaving the parking lot of a Kmart store and entered onto Stewart Road. According to authorities, Evans did not yield to an oncoming vehicle on Stewart Road and crashed into a white 2009 Dodge Nitro shortly before 5 p.m.

The driver of the Dodge Nitro, John W. Fox, 49, of Port Huron, and his passenger, Justin L. Fox, 27, of Ottawa Lake, sustained minor injuries in the crash.

Evans was sent to Mercy Memorial Hospital, where she later died around 5:30 p.m. from injuries sustained in the crash.

Monroe County Sheriff Dale Malone said speed and alcohol were not a factor in the crash.

Source: NBC24

Seniors Continue Driving Despite Declining Physical Abilities, Nearly All Would Consider Stopping for the Right Reason; New Report

Seniors Continue Driving Despite Declining Physical Abilities, Nearly All Would Consider Stopping for Right Reason; New Report

June 24, 2014

Liberty Mutual Insurance finds seniors are willing to discuss driving abilities, yet conversations rarely happen

As baby boomers soon begin turning 70, the number of seniors on the road will rise steadily over the next two decades. There are currently more than 23 million licensed drivers aged 70 and older (Federal Highway Administration) and a new survey released today by Liberty Mutual Insurance finds that the majority of senior drivers are behind the wheel regularly, even with reported limited physical abilities. Though many seniors drive safely well into their later years, it’s inevitable that they may eventually have to face the difficult decision to stop driving. While 84 percent of senior drivers are open to conversations about limiting or stopping their driving, according to the new survey, only 6 percent have spoken with someone about their driving abilities.

“These are difficult conversations, but important to have early and often, because everyone ages differently,” said David Melton, driving safety expert with Liberty Mutual Insurance and managing director of global safety. “Too often, these discussions are avoided until warning signs appear or, worse, there is a crash. It’s a step we all need to take to ensure the safety of our loved ones and the community.”     

Based on a survey of 1,000 adults aged 75 and older, the Liberty Mutual Insurance report reveals that, despite declining physical abilities, the majority of senior drivers still drive regularly, with 41 percent driving every day and 38 percent driving several times a week.

In the past six months, the surveyed senior drivers report:

  • Declining physical abilities: The majority (78 percent) drive regularly, even after reporting declining physical abilities; with one in six (16 percent) saying they tire easily or have slow reaction times, 13 percent reporting difficulty seeing or hearing, and nearly one in 10 (9 percent) reporting getting lost or feeling confused while driving. 
  • Avoiding driving conditions: 85 percent have avoided at least some type of driving condition or location, including driving after dark, during heavy traffic hours or in unfamiliar areas.

While nearly all senior drivers would consider limiting or stopping their driving if presented with the right reason, most are hesitant about the idea of life without driving. Concerns that may prevent seniors from transitioning to the passenger seat include:

  • Losing independence: 64 percent;
  • Becoming less active: 47 percent;
  • Difficulty finding alternative forms of transportation: 45 percent; and
  • Feeling isolated: 45 percent.

Having the Conversation

In 2013, Liberty Mutual Insurance conducted a survey of adult children of elderly drivers to determine if they were having conversations about driving with their aging parents and, if not, what was preventing them. Of those surveyed, 55 percent of children admitted they were concerned about their parents’ driving abilities and safety, yet nearly one-third avoided the conversation completely. Less than half thought that their parents would be open to a discussion and predicted a negative outcome, fearing they would be angry, hurt, or even more determined to keep driving. 

However, today’s new report reveals that more people may be avoiding conversations with aging drivers, yet more seniors are open to talking than many might think:  

  • Only 6 percent of senior drivers report having had a discussion about their driving abilities, despite 84 percent saying that they would be open to talking about the issue.
  • The majority of seniors who have not yet had a conversation report they would feel most comfortable being approached by their children (66 percent) or doctor (60 percent).
  • Seniors cite a doctor’s recommendation and their recognition of their own declining physical abilities as top reasons to limit or stop driving.

“We know from our surveys that seniors are more receptive to conversations about driving than their children assume, which often prevents conversations from happening,” said Melton. “In reality, seniors are usually so receptive to these conversations that many stop driving within six months of talking about it with their loved ones. These are tough conversations, but caregivers should take comfort knowing that these discussions are typically easier than expected and usually have positive outcomes.”

Interestingly, although three in five senior drivers say they would prefer having these discussions with their doctor present, physicians are rarely included in the conversation. However, with resources such as the Physicians Guide to Assessing and Counseling Older Drivers, created by the American Medical Association and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, today’s doctors and healthcare providers are well-equipped to address the issue with seniors and their loved ones.

More Conversations, Better Alternatives Needed

With more than 4,000 people aged 70 and older dying in motor vehicle crashes in 2012, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, it’s more important than ever for children and loved ones of senior drivers to have conversations about driving before it is time to stop. The right time to stop driving is a personal decision and will be different for everyone. The first step is starting the conversation, and an essential part of that is a discussion about alternatives to driving. The transition from the driver’s seat to the passenger seat is gradual, and understanding the available transportation alternatives helps older people maintain the independence, mobility and social engagement essential for quality of life.

“Concerns about maintaining independence and mobility are natural parts of the transition from the driver’s seat,” said Katherine Freund, founder and presid

ent of ITNAmerica, the first national nonprofit transportation network for America’s aging population. ”Families and communities should be supportive players in the transition by helping to ensure today’s growing elderly population remains active and engaged. When approaching the conversation, it’s important to acknowledge elders’ concerns, identify transportation alternatives and outline a plan for maintaining mobility.” 

Liberty Mutual Insurance proudly partners with ITNAmerica, which promotes sustainable, community-based transportation solutions for seniors by linking caring volunteers from the local community with seniors to provide rides 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Visit for conversation starters, tips for having the tough conversation and more.

About the Liberty Mutual Insurance Senior Driving Survey

Liberty Mutual Insurance commissioned ORC International to conduct a research study employing quantitative methodology to measure senior driving attitudes and behaviors. The study included 1,000 telephone interviews among a national sample of seniors aged 75 or older. Of these, 582 reported that they still drive, while 418 stated that they no longer drive or no longer have a valid driver’s license.  Findings from the study can be interpreted at a 95 percent confidence interval with an error margin of ± 3.94% for drivers, and ± 4.69% for non-drivers.

About Liberty Mutual Insurance

Liberty Mutual Insurance helps preserve and protect the things people earn and own and build and cherish.  Keeping this promise means we are there when our policyholders throughout the world need us most.  

In business since 1912, and headquartered in Boston, Mass., today Liberty Mutual is a diversified global insurer with operations in 30 countries around the world.  The company is the third largest property and casualty insurer in the U.S. based on 2013 direct premium written as reported by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Liberty Mutual also is ranked 76th on the Fortune 100 list of largest corporations in the U.S. based on 2013 revenue. The company employs over 50,000 people in more than 900 offices throughout the world.  

The sixth-largest auto and home insurer in the U.S., Liberty Mutual ( sells full lines of coverage for automobile, homeowners, valuable possessions, personal liability, and individual life insurance.  The company is an industry leader in affinity partnerships, offering car and home insurance to employees and members of more than 14,000 companies, credit unions, professional associations and alumni groups.

Source: Liberty Mutual Insurance

Elderly Man Killed in Crash with Cal City Squad Identifed

Elderly Man Killed in Crash with Cal City Squad Identifed

June 27, 2014 – Times Staff

CALUMET CITY | The identity of an 81-year-old man who died after a crash with a Calumet City squad car was released Friday morning.

Earl Stahl, of the 14200 block of S. Kilpatrick Avenue in Crestwood, Ill., was pronounced dead at 1:14 p.m. Thursday at Franciscan St. Margaret Health hospital in Hammond, the Lake County coroner’s office said.

The cause of death was listed as blunt force trauma suffered in a motor vehicle accident in the 900 block of Burnham Avenue in Calumet City.

Police on Thursday said the accident occurred just before 1 p.m. with the squad car coming to rest next to Tom’s Restaurant. The restaurant is owned by 6th Ward Calumet City Alderman Nick Manousopoulos. 

The officer and Stahl were the sole occupants of their vehicles. The officer was transported to Franciscan St. Margaret Health hospital in Hammond and was later released following treatment. The nature of the officer’s injuries was not released.

The officer was responding to a call of a fire and was traveling north on Burnham Avenue with lights and sirens on at the time of the crash, police said.

A preliminary investigation by the South Suburban Major Accident Reconstruction Team indicated Stahl was driving a Kia and failed to yield the right of way.


Debate Increases Over Licensing Rules for Elderly Drivers

Debate Increases Over Licensing Rules for Elderly Drivers

By Scott MacFarlane – Tuesday May 13, 2014

[Watch Full Video Here]

There is a fast-growing number of elderly drivers in the Washington, D.C., area and increasing debate over whether stiffer licensing rules and testing should be ordered because of it, according to a review by the News4 I-Team.

At least 386 people older than of 100 are licensed to drive in Virginia and Maryland, according to state motor vehicle records the I-Team obtained and analyzed. More than 250,000 licensed local drivers are older than 80.

Families of victims of accidents involving elderly drivers have lobbied Maryland and Virginia to pass legislation reducing the time period between license renewals for senior citizens. Virginia’s proposal, which was recently approved by the state legislature and will take effect in January, will shrink from eight years to five years the time between license renewals for drivers over the age of 75.

Similar Maryland legislation wasn’t approved before the end of the state’s legislative session in March.

  • Licensed Virginia Drivers 80 and Older: 184,854
  • Licensed Virginia Drivers 100 and Older: 242
  • Licensed Maryland Drivers 85 and Older: 62,424
  • Licensed Maryland Drivers 100 and Older: 144

David Morrell, whose son, Darren, was killed in a crash involving an 85-year-old driver in Oakton, Va., in 2010, was among the chief advocates of Virginia’s licensing changes.

“Darren was on his motorcycle and never had a chance,” Morrell said. “(The driver) did not look. He did not know he hit Darren. People on the street had to stop him from leaving the scene.”

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration databases show the percentage of fatal accidents involving drivers over the age of 65 has increased 20 percent since 2003, twice as fast as fatal accidents involving younger drivers.

Adjusting driving and licensing rules for seniors has been both complicated and delicate. Washington, D.C.-area representatives of transportation and safety groups argue age alone is not a determining factor of a driver’s skill

“I think it’s important for people of any age to brush up on their driving skills, and it’s not just seniors,” said Ralph Rosenthal, a Virginia-based driving instructor for AARP. Age itself is not a determinant (of driving ability).”

John Townsend, a spokesman for AAA Mid-Atlantic, said some risk factors are more common among the elderly.

“A lot of older people are on prescription medicine,” he said. “(Medicine and driving) can be a toxic mix depending on which drugs, prescriptions you’re taking.”

Maryland’s Motor Vehicle Administration administers a series of tests, some of which are computer-based, for senior drivers or those with compromised cognitive skills. The exams, which are administered at local MVA offices, include tests of memory, peripheral vision and reflexes. In some cases, agency staff will order additional road tests for drivers whose performance and diminishing skills raise concerns. But the tests are only ordered for drivers referred to the MVA by law e

nforcement or family or by drivers who have concerns about their own declining ability.

The agency also requires vision testing for license renewals for drivers over the age of 40.

“We all have to plan for retirement from driving,” said Dr. Carl Soderstrom, director of the Maryland MVA’s medical advisory board. “Many of us will outlive our ability to drive a car by seven to 10 years.”

Susan Cohen, whose son Nathan was killed after being hit by an elderly driver in Baltimore in 2011, lobbied Maryland state legislators to lower the period between license renewals for seniors, a renewal period than can be as long as eight years. The proposal has not been approved by lawmakers.

Cohen said the driver who ran over her son showed signs of declining driving abilities. After the accident, Cohen said, “(The driver) got out of the car, left it running and sat on a wall. She didn’t notify people that she had an injured person under car. It was a preventable accident. She could have checked her blind spot.”

Source: NBC Washington

Pa. steers clear of retesting older drivers strictly because of age

Pa. Steers Clear Of Retesting Older Drivers Strictly Because Of Age

By Jan Murphy – May 21, 2014


Eighty-nine-year-old Steelton native Ray Pugliese owns a car, but now his neighbor is the only one who drives it.

Earlier this month, Pugliese had his driving privileges revoked.

“I’m a good driver. I don’t have an accident history,” he said. But none of that matters.

He said he couldn’t pass the state Department of Transportation’s computerized driver’s skill test after taking it a couple of times. He found the test confusing and said it “asked crazy questions.”

He also didn’t understand the connection between his driving and the letters he received from PennDOT about getting a medical examination.

The whole situation disgusted him enough to call PennLive to complain about how PennDOT has left him in a situation where he is pretty much homebound except for an occasional outing with his neighbor.

He is one of Pennsylvania’s growing number of drivers over the age of 80. Since 2003, the number of octogenarians or older on the road have increased 31 percent to 424,809 drivers.

But Pennsylvania, unlike other states, has no special rules that apply strictly to the licensing of older drivers other than offering a 5 percent discount on insurance to drivers age 55 and up who complete a driver improvement course.

Further, checks with the House and Senate transportation committee staff found that no legislation specifically dealing with the state’s growing population of older drivers is pending or even been introduced in the past four years, if not longer.

However, PennDOT statistics show the number of crashes involving drivers age 65 and older in 2013 was up 12 percent from five years before.

Ted Leonard, executive director of the Pennsylvania AAA Federation, said he has heard PennDOT officials discuss this issue on several occasions but little has changed.

“They don’t want to set some sort of program up that leans toward older drivers because you can have an 80-year-old driver who is as good a driver as a 16-year-old,” Leonard said.

But a growing number of states have imposed more requirements on seniors when they go to renew their driver’s license, according to the Butler-based Seniors for Safe Driving website.

The age when the other states’ special requirements kick in typically begin between the ages of 65 and 75. Two-fifths of the states make senior drivers renew their licenses more frequently or in person. Some require those drivers to take vision, driving knowledge and/or on-road driving tests.

Instead of focusing on age, however, PennDOT chooses to let driver’s competency be the determining factor in whether a person is able to drive.

Every month, the department randomly selects 1,900 of the state’s more than nearly 5 million licensed drivers over the age of 45 to be retested. Those who are chosen are required to undergo vision and physical exams by health care providers of their own choosing within seven months of their license renewal.

Based on the results of those exams, a driver might be required to take a driver’s test to preserve his or her driving privileges.

In addition to PennDOT’s random selection, a doctor or family member also can report a driver of any age who they believe have an impairment affecting their ability to drive, PennDOT spokeswoman Jan McKnight said.

Those can be submitted by writing a detailed letter regarding their observations and the driver’s specific medical impairment, along with their own name and contact information, to PennDOT, P.O. Box 68682, Harrisburg 17106-8682.

A medical unit at PennDOT evaluates those reports and determines whether a driver’s test is needed, McKnight said.

Medical reporting produces about 22,000 reports annually of which about half result in having driving privileges recalled; however, only half of those recalls involve drivers age 65 or higher, she said.

If Pennsylvania were to follow the lead of other states that require older drivers to be retested, it would not come without its problems.

“It would exacerbate the problem we have with crowded testing centers,” longtime executive director of the House Transportation Committee Eric Bugaile said. “It would cause us to have to hire new staff and, of course, that’s costly. That’s less money available to fix the roads.”

He said he thinks PennDOT’s system of using random selection is sufficient to weed out the drivers whose licenses should be recalled.

Many times, he said older drivers recognize it’s time to hang up their car keys and they don’t reply when they receive a notice about getting a medical exam to hold on to their driving privileges. Others might go in for a test and not pass and that takes care of it.

Steve Gardner, a spokesman for AARP Pennsylvania, said his organization sees no silver bullet to addressing the issue of safety and senior drivers.< /p>

Rather, he said it encourages members to avail themselves to the driver improvement courses and to be vigilant in monitoring their own driving skills and those of loved ones “because everybody’s priority has to be safety.”

His organization as well as AAA and the Safe Driving for Seniors are among the groups that offer driver training courses targeted to older drivers.

Those courses touch on not so much the mechanics of driving but rather the aging processes impact on vision, hearing, reaction time and other vital skills needed for driving as well as tips on avoiding difficult driving circumstances.

Rather than focusing on new laws regulating senior drivers, he said AARP is concerned about improving roads and travel environment for all drivers and making sure that alternatives such as mass transit are available to help seniors remain productive and connected to their families.

Meanwhile, Pugliese, who has no family in the immediate area and was unfamiliar with the shared-ride services available through the Dauphin County Area on Agency, said the recall of his license leaves him stuck at home with a car parked outside that he can no longer drive.

“I have a brother in Texas,” he said. “Guess I’ll have to move to Texas.”


Man killed in two-vehicle crash on SR 200

Man killed in two-vehicle crash on SR 200

February 21, 2014 By Austin L. Miller

The pickup collided with a Toyota at the intersection of Southwest 67th Terrace and SR 200 in Ocala on Friday. The driver of the Toyota was killed.

A two-vehicle crash Friday afternoon claimed the life of one man.

According to troopers with the Florida Highway Patrol, a pickup traveling east on State Road 200 was approaching Southwest 73rd Street Road near Jasmine Plaza when a car driven by Matthew Rossi, 92, of Ocala, bolted into the path of the truck. The truck, a 1997 Chevy S10 driven by William Watkins, 27, of Ocklawaha, struck the driver’s side of the car.

Rossi, who lived in the Palm Cay community, was taken to West Marion Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, troopers said.

Watkins sustained minor injuries. Troopers said Watkins is a contractor for a cable company and was using his truck on company business.

As is standard protocol with serious crashes, blood was drawn from Watkins and will be sent for toxicology testing.


Elderly man killed in crash involving Sheriff's Office car

Elderly man killed in crash involving Sheriff’s Office car

March 10, 2014

Cpl. Susan Barge, left and Cpl. Connie McNeill examine the wreckage of James Barzey’s car Monday night. Barzey, 91, was killed when he pulled out in front of a Marion County Sheriff’s Office undercover officer Monday night at the intersection of Southeast Maricamp and Pine Road in Silver Springs Shores. Three cars were involved in the crash including the black Acura SUV, left.

SILVER SPRINGS SHORES — An elderly man died in a crash involving an unmarked Marion County Sheriff’s Office vehicle in Silver Springs Shores on Monday.Florida Highway Patrol troopers said the unmarked Sheriff’s Office vehicle with two sheriff’s deputies, was heading west in the left lane on Southeast Maricamp Road.

A 1993 Dodge Spirit, driven James Barzey, was on Pine Road, traveling south.

Troopers said it’s unknown if Barzey, 91, of Silver Springs Shores, was trying to cross the busy roadway of Southeast Maricamp Road or trying to turn onto Maricamp Road.

Barzey’s car, however, pulled into the path of the deputy’s vehicle and was struck on the driver’s side.

FHP officials said that upon impact, the unmarked Sheriff’s Office vehicle crashed into a concrete telephone pole, while Barzey’s car twice circled the unmarked vehicle before hitting the driver’s side of a 2004 Acura, driven by Carlos Fuentes, 47. Fuentes, of Silver Springs Shores, was not injured, officials said.

Barzey was extricated from his car by Marion County Fire Rescue officials and was taken to Ocala Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. The deputies were transported to Munroe Regional Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.

Troopers said both deputies and Barzey were wearing seat belts. The deputies names were not released by officials.

Troopers said the unmarked sheriff’s vehicle, which was on duty, was not responding to any emergency at the time of the crash.

Barzey’s death is the second person over the age of 90 to have died in a traffic accident in Marion County since the beginning of the year.

Last month, 92-year-old Matthew Rossi, of Ocala, was killed when the car he was driving drove into the path of a pickup truck on State Road 200.


Adams Woman and Daughter Hit by Truck

Adams Woman and Daughter Hit by Truck

Published: Mar 15, 2014

An Adams woman is in serious condition and her daughter is dead, after they were hit by a pickup truck in Syracuse Friday.

Syracuse Police say Barbara Cook, 72, Adams, and her daughter Jennifer Cook, 43, Providence, Rhode Island, were struck while walking eastbound on the south side of East Genesee Street around 1 in the afternoon. Both were transported to the hospital. Jennifer died from her injuries and Barbara is listed in serious condition. 

Syracuse Police say James McDonald, 86, Chittenango, veered to the left and hit the two in a Mazda pickup truck before his vehicle came to rest in a snowbank.

Police hadn’t released the reason why James McDonald, 86, the driver of the truck hit the women. No tickets were intially issued.

Jennifer Cook, was the executive director of the Rhode Island Writing Project and an associate professor at Rhode Island College.