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Cresskill-Closter Daily Voice serves Closter, Cresskill & Demarest

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An elder’s decision, a loved one lost. Why?

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot
Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

My mother-in-law was outside the Stanley Theater for a convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses, waiting to reunite with friends who’d been searching for her all the way from Texas. Instead of a warm embrace, she was mowed down by a car driven by an elderly man picking up his wife. Seems he hit the gas instead of the brake. She died of her injuries months later.

Twelve people in all were struck outside the Jersey City theater in Journal Square, including a baby in a stroller. My mother-in-law, Gloria Reyes, got the worse of it. Her leg from the knee down was gnarled so badly, she lost a huge about of blood.

Anna Aranda

Ironically, it wasn’t the blood loss that killed her. It was a sepsis infection that did its evil deed swiftly and efficiently, after months of skill grafts and surgeries.

The true irony of it all, however, is that she’d been here for her son’s illness and eventual funeral — from, of all things, a sepsis infection and complications from diabetes.

If you’re concerned about an elderly loved one after hearing of another crash in North Jersey involving a senior citizen who hit the gas instead of the brake, you should make it your business to assess his or her ability to handle any number of surprises behind the wheel. Go to: Tipsheet: How to tell whether mom or dad can still drive

The driver?

Turns out he had brain cancer, nothing that could have been forseen, just like there‘s no way of us ever knowing that it, and not his age, contributed to his tragic mistake.

What I do know is that my children lost a grandmother.

So I ask you: How old is too old to drive? I see the elderly tested periodically, just as new drivers are. But are those tests designed to calibrate how slow our reflexes get, how health issues and some medications make us less efficient at driving?

Why not make such tests mandatory?

If this was instituted before 2000 , for example, a wonderful, loving, witty, giving woman may still be alive right now.

What do YOU think? To comment, REGISTER HERE

Also, see : North Jersey crash into Whole Foods raises elderly-driver question

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