How's this for being cool under fire?
7 yr old drives to safety
7-year-old's quick thinking behind wheel saves mom
By Joe Hughes
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
June 25, 2004
A 7-year-old Vista boy may have saved his mother's life when he grabbed the wheel of her Suzuki Samurai and steered it to safety after his mom suffered a seizure on Interstate 805 yesterday afternoon, authorities said.
The boy, whose feet could not reach the brakes, maneuvered the vehicle onto the right shoulder of state Route 52, where the Suzuki came to rest in a pile of mulch, the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department said.
Neither the boy nor his mother was hurt in the crash, and the vehicle sustained only minor damage, said an amazed fire Capt. Harold Lemire.
"When we got to the scene, all the boy could say was that he had to crash the car to stop it," said Lemire, who responded to the 2 p.m. incident after the Fire Department got numerous 911 calls from passing motorists. "He was real calm about it all."
The boy's mother was admitted to a hospital for the seizure. A report on her condition was not available. The boy told authorities that she has had seizures in the past.
Authorities did not identify the boy or his mother. It was not clear what prompted the seizure.
The boy told authorities that his mother was driving south on I-805, near Route 52, when he noticed she was shaking violently and was lapsing into unconsciousness.
As the vehicle swerved out of control approaching Route 52, the boy grabbed the wheel and regained control.
His mom, however, was slumped over, her foot on the gas pedal.
"He was trying to find a way to stop the car because he could not reach the brake pedal," Lemire said. "So he had the presence of mind to look for a place off the freeway to crash the car and stop it."
He spotted a pile of mulch near Genesee Avenue and steered the car into it, said Lemire, who plans to nominate the boy for a lifesaving citation.
"I have never heard of anything like this," Lemire said. "He probably saved his life and the life of his mom, too."