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Silver Alert helps prevent wrong-way tragedy in Wisconsin

MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) – The Wisconsin Department of Justice says a Silver Alert on Thursday helped prevent tragedy after an 81-year-old Janesville man was reported missing and ended up driving the wrong way in Wisconsin.

The man left his house just before 9 a.m. to go to breakfast but never arrived. The man was reported missing by his family later in the day, and police discovered that the man had been in Rockford, Illinois around noon.

Because Rockford is close to the Wisconsin border and based on the time that had passed since the man was known to have been in Rockford, the Department of Justice issued a statewide Silver Alert just after 5 p.m. on Thursday.

Four hours later, a tip came in from someone in DeForest for a car matching the description posted on DOT signs and called police. There was also a call about a wrong way driver matching the vehicle description. As a result of the calls from concerned citizens, the man was found safe in DeForest.

Since the Silver Alert program started in August 2014, 215 alerts have been issued. This is the second, known success story where DOT signs played a role in safely locating a missing person believed to have dementia or some other cognitive impairment.

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