An 88-year-old Tampa woman who lost her way hundreds of miles from a relative’s home was rescued by a Georgia police officer.
Officer Bill Lowe with the Roswell, Georgia, Police Department, helped her after responding to a March 22 report of a disoriented older woman driving a vehicle. The call came from a Good Samaritan who found the Tampa woman at a gas station.
Betty, whose last name ABC Action News is withholding to protect her identity, had left from Tampa for her brother’s home in Sylva, North Carolina, but became lost.
A police report says she slept in her vehicle the night before becoming lost. The woman told Officer Lowe she was trying to get to her brother's house and that he was her only family. Her 94-year-old brother was unable to pick her up in Georgia.
Following a conversation with her brother, Officer Lowe called paramedics to evaluate and take the woman to a hospital.
Lowe gave his personal cellphone to a nurse for an update on her. Upon her release, Officer Lowe and the 911 dispatcher, Cristy Way, decided to drive her to her brother’s home personally.
Way drove her vehicle while Officer Lowe drove his personal truck to escort her to her final destination in North Carolina.
"I just had a commitment to doing the job right the first time," he said, "and I'm not going to do anything I'm not proud to tell my adult children that their dad has done, and I would have been embarrassed if I called my adult children and said that I left this woman stuck in a hospital with no reasonable way to get home to her brother. I would have been ashamed of myself."
Officer Lowe and Way were only at the home for a couple minutes before this encounter.
“One thing Don [the woman’s brother] said is he never heard of such a thing as driving someone so far," said Officer Lowe, "and, I told Don, sometimes there are special rules for special people and that applies today."