Elderly Wrong-Way Driver Forces Brief Shutdown of Long Island Parkway

The 71-year-old driver was going north on the southbound lanes of the Wantagh Parkway, police say

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    An elderly Queens man caused a brief scare on a Long Island parkway Sunday when he drove the wrong way, forcing police to block off a portion of the road as they tried to stop him, according to authorities.

    Police were called to Wantagh Parkway, just south of Merrick Road, for reports that a white Nissan was going the wrong way in the southbound lanes, according to state police. 

    Troopers stopped traffic on the parkway and positioned their patrol cars just north of the where the Nissan was last seen. The 71-year-old driver approached the police road block but went around around the first marked police unit, according to police. 

    Troopers were able to stop the vehicle just south of the Southern State Parkway. 

    When police pulled over the driver, he told them turned around at the Jones Beach tolls because he thought the tolls were closed. He said he didn't realize that drivers had to merge left and go around the closed tolls to continue southbound. 

    The driver, who is from Little Neck, was issued tickets for reckless driving, speeding, failing to comply with a lawful police order and driving the wrong way. Troopers have also filed to review the driver's driving privileges. 

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