99-Year-Old West Ellicott Woman Passes Driving Test Again
Millie Wheelock has been driving for more than 82 years of her life, longer than most motorists currently on the road have been alive.
So when her license was revoked following an accident in June, the 99-year-old West Ellicott resident was determined to get behind the wheel again.
Wheelock completed a five-hour per-licensing driving course before passing a road test last week. Wheelock wasn’t at fault in the incident that led to her license being taken away — she was struck from behind while parked on Second Street in Jamestown.
However, shortly after the crash Wheelock received a notice in the mail stating her license had been revoked due to poor health.
“I was terribly sick to my stomach. I was upset,” Wheelock said of losing her license after 82 years on the road. “I’ve had it since I was 17 years old. I’m going to turn 100 in August.”
Wheelock said up until the accident she had never been in a crash, which she admits did leave her shaken for a while. She proudly boasted of her Chevy Lumina, a car she loved that sustained significant damage in the June incident. Though no longer a cross-country traveler as in her younger days with her late husband, Wheelock said she still drives several times a week between running errands and trips to the social groups of which she’s a member.
In addition to taking the class and driving test, Wheelock was also required to get a note from her doctor saying she was still capable of driving.
Her clean bill of health also needed to cover her eyesight.
“My doctor said, ‘You don’t need to take another test. Your eyes are better than mine,'” she said.
After some last-second nerves, Wheelock passed her driving test with a score of 85.
Bob Triscari, owner of Aadvance Driver Training in Jamestown, said Wheelock is the oldest participant he has had in the 11 years he has taught driver education classes; he once had a 91-year-old, who also passed. He said the situation “broke his heart” knowing that Wheelock was unable to drive herself to church or to the grocery store.
“She kept telling me, ‘I’m gonna pass this test. I’m gonna pass this test,” Triscari said. “I was 50/50 on whether she’d pass. You just never know what kind of (driving) instructor you’re going to get.”
Triscari — who admitted to shedding a few tears upon learning she passed — noted that Wheelock’s score of 85 on the driving course was better than most who frequent his classes. “I can’t get over that she was able to do better than most of the 16 year olds,” he said.