New Mexico Man With Alzheimer's Drives 552 Miles to Texas, Gets Plane Ride Home

Man, 80, was driving erratically at 3:30 a.m. when deputy stopped him

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An 80-year-old New Mexico man who left home to drive to the store ended up 552 miles from home in Granbury, where a volunteer firefighter who is also a pilot flew him back home.

“He left his house to go to the store and the next time anybody had any contact with him was in Granbury, Texas,” Hood County Sheriff Roger Deeds said. “We’re not sure the route he took or anything.”

Deeds said the man, who has Alzheimer’s, attracted the attention of a deputy on Highway 377 because he was driving erratically at 3:30 a.m.

The deputy pulled him over and quickly realized the man was confused and far from home.

Deputies at first planned to drive him by car all the way to Alamogordo, New Mexico, but that would have taken many hours, Deeds said.

A volunteer firefighter in Cresson who happens to be a pilot offered to fly him and they arrived in New Mexico late Tuesday.

They made arrangements with the man’s son to pick up his car later.

“It turned out pretty good,” Deeds said.

Cresson Volunteer Fire Department Chief Ron Becker agreed.

"That's the kind of stuff we do," he said. "We try to help people."

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