Elderly man found alive in rural ditch
A missing 82-year-old Montrose man was found Tuesday after he spent a chilly night in his Cadillac that he had nearly driven into a canal.
Donald Larue, who has dementia and was reported missing after he missed an appointment on Monday, was found in an area off 6900 Road, along the South Canal outside town.
According to Montrose Police Cmdr. Gene Lillard, Larue’s family told investigators that he liked to drive out along the canal near the the road to Black Canyon of the Gunnison. Sgt. Tim Cox, who is also a detective with the department, decided to drive along the canal just in case Larue went to the area.
Cox encountered some construction workers who told him they saw a tan Cadillac, which appeared to be stuck in a ditch in a slick, muddy area. They had no idea Larue was in the car, Lillard said.
Cox found Larue in the car, where he had spent the night and kept the car running until it ran out of gas. “He said it was a rather chilly night but he had a Carhartt jacket on,” Lillard said. Larue was fine other than being thirsty and had lost a shoe in the mud, he said.
Lillard said the police department is going to request that Larue re-test for his driver’s license.
“It comes to a point in life where you have to take the keys away from them because they’re going to hurt an innocent bystander or someone else or themselves, they’re going to kill someone,” Lillard said. “Tough love is what it is.”
Officials are still looking for another man in the area who was reported missing three months ago after he walked away from Colorow Care Center in Olathe. Gary Goldman, 77, who was diagnosed with dementia, has not been found.