On the morning of July 12, she unintentionally set into motion a series of death-defying maneuvers that rivaled some of Evel Knievel’s stunts.
Elliott’s lucky that nobody was in the front-end loader she backed into so hard that it pushed the heavy equipment back some 3 feet. Lucky that no people or their automobiles were situated in the path of her RAV4 as it made its involuntary beeline toward the docks. Lucky that nobody was aboard the boat on which her car landed. Lucky that her car didn’t collide with the trees en route or plummet off the side of the Sea Ray and into the Grand River.
Ultimately, she’s lucky to be alive.
We were disturbed to discover this was not the first time Elliott has been on a dizziness-induced drive that found her in or near the Grand River.
Based on the comments section of the Tribune’s website, we’re not the only people asking questions. Many wonder if Elliott should ever be allowed to get behind the wheel again, and if the state of Michigan has a thorough vetting process to ensure she does not drive until it is determined she won’t pose a risk to herself or others.
In Michigan, when it has been determined that someone will face a driving re-examination (which Spring Lake/Ferrysburg Police Chief Roger DeYoung said is likely in Elliott’s case), the state will send a medical statement to be filled out by the individual’s physician. At the time of the assessment, it could be determined that certain licensing controls be put in place, or that additional examinations or a suspension/revocation of license is necessary. It’s a “case-by-case” approach that seems quite reasonable.
Ultimately, we’re fortunate that Elliott was put forth as a candidate for re-examination, as many people prone to losing consciousness opt to not reveal this information to the Secretary of State, for fear of potentially losing their license.
As Michigan is one of 44 states where doctors are not required to report patients with epilepsy or other conditions that could impair driving, it is all the more important that individuals (or their family and friends) have the courage to come forward and seek help.
It’s better to end up riding the bus than riding in a hearse.
Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Kevin Collier, Nick White and Liz Stuck. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to firstname.lastname@example.org or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.