Lost man drives nine hours to get newspaper

CANBERRA Wed Nov 18, 2009 12:56pm EST

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CANBERRA (Reuters) - An elderly man who went out to fetch a morning newspaper ended up driving nearly 400 miles after getting lost and taking a wrong turn onto a major Australian highway, police said on Wednesday. The man, 81-year-old Eric Steward, eventually stopped and asked for directions after driving for nine hours, from the New South Wales country town of Yass to Geelong in the southern Victoria state.

Steward, who did not know where he was, eventually approached a policeman at a petrol station and asked for help late Wednesday.

"This little old man came up to me saying he was lost. He handed me his mobile and asked if I could speak to his wife," said Victorian Police Senior Constable Clayton Smith.

Steward, who was reunited with his family on Wednesday, said he took the wrong turn and just kept on going.

"I just went out on the road to have a drive, a nice peaceful drive," he told reporters, adding he did not need a satellite navigation device as he'd only been lost once.

(Reporting by James Grubel, editing by Miral Fahmy)

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