Deputies say elderly driver may be to blame for deadly accident - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Paducah, KY

Deputies say elderly driver may be to blame for deadly accident

Deputies say elderly driver may be to blame for deadly accident
By: Erica Byfield

Paducah, KY - Officers say an 86-year-old Paducah woman caused a deadly accident.

According to the McCracken County Sheriff's Department, on Saturday afternoon Wilma Hook failed to yield at a stop sign.  She hit two on-coming drivers, a couple on a motorcycle and a pick up truck.

The passenger on the cycle, 34-year-old Bobbie Hawks from Bowling Green, died at the scene.

Her husband Randy was injured, neither one was wearing a helmet. Something we're told could have possibly saved Bobbie's life.

"You can't ever second guess an accident, but a helmet in a case like this certainly would have not hurt," said Terry Long with the McCracken County Sheriff's Department.

The investigation is still on going, and there is on word yet of charges against Hook.

So, what are the rules of the road for elderly drivers across the Heartland?

In Kentucky, no matter how old or young you are, the state mandates a driver renew their license every four years.

And if you did not let it expire over a year, you do not have to retake the written or vision tests.

That shocks Donna Moss, "I would say you probably need to because I know your eyes change."

In the case of Wilma Hook, she is 86 and her license is valid. 

The only question now, is Kentucky's law too lax?

Stacey Miller thinks so and says everyone needs to get retested, "I think like every 7 years, like for everyone.  It doesn't matter how old or how young."

Miller adds when it could be a matter of life and death there should be no question about it.

"If you're going to take the chance of costing someone their life it's worth it," she said.

In Missouri the law requires all drivers over the age of 70 to renew their license every three years with a vision test.

Illinois drivers have to follow slightly different rules, at the age of 81 you have start renewing every two years and at 87 it jumps too annually.

In Tennessee you'll need to renew every 5 years.

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