FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA

Solano County

Elderly man survives golf cart journey

By From page A1 | May 29, 2014

ELMIRA — A search-and-rescue effort by the Solano County Sheriff’s Office located a missing 89-year-old man who drove a golf cart at least 10 miles along mostly rural roads.

Somehow, he safely got from Elmira east of Vacaville to Highway 128 heading toward Winters on Monday evening. There, he entered a two-lane rural highway carrying Memorial Day traffic traveling at speeds of 60 mph and faster as it returned home from Lake Berryessa.

The cart had no lights and darkness was falling.

While a general outline of the man’s golf cart journey has emerged, the precise route remains a mystery.

“I don’t know and he was unable to tell us,” Deputy Daryl Snedeker said Wednesday.

It’s a miracle the man didn’t get hurt, he said.

Family reported the missing man at 7 p.m. Monday. They said he had left the Elmira house a short time earlier in an electric golf cart and had a history of dementia, according to a Sheriff’s Office press release.

Sgt. John Arabia activated the county search-and-rescue team. Then the Sheriff’s Office got a call from a motorist who reported an elderly man driving a golf cart on narrow, rural Pleasants Valley Road near Cantelow Road, about 7 miles from Elmira.

Lt. Jeff Brackett responded but didn’t see the elderly man on Pleasants Valley Road. He pulled over at Highway 128 and Pleasants Valley Road to talk to the motorist who had made the call. Then Brackett saw the elderly man in a golf cart exiting a dirt road from a field onto rural Highway 128.

Brackett drove his patrol car behind the man and tried to get him to stop. Meanwhile, Highway 128 traffic backed up and motorists honked, Snedeker said. Another patrol car came to help and the man’s journey ended around 8:30 p.m., with darkness falling.

The man appeared to be experiencing dementia and got taken by ambulance to a hospital for observation, the press release said.

“I’d love to know the route he took, how he ended up getting all that way on a golf cart,” Snedeker said. “Will we ever know? Probably not.”

Some golf carts can go for eight hours on a charge, Snedeker said.

He urged people to call law enforcement when they see something unusual. The call from the motorist who saw the man on Pleasants Valley Road brought this case to a successful conclusion, he said.

Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling has been a reporter with the Daily Republic since 1987. He covers Solano County government, transportation, growth and the environment. He received his bachelors of art degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara and his masters degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley.
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Discussion | 4 comments

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  • 2realMay 29, 2014 - 5:22 am

    Another dangerous elderly person behind the wheel. Watch out!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • CD BrooksMay 29, 2014 - 6:20 am

    Wow, add another group to 2reals' hate list. Dude is your "creator" on board with all this?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • BeeboMay 29, 2014 - 12:49 pm

    That's nothin'. My Grandma drove a vacuum all the way down to the complex community center. I suppose that I shouldn't joke, because the likelyhood that this man was tackled, tazed and then shot for resisting arrest is a good one.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • 2realMay 29, 2014 - 5:40 pm

    Cd, just stating the facts brotha.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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