Mom Passes Out While Driving, 8-Year-Old Takes the Wheel and Saves the Day
byKaitlin StanfordMay 19, 2014
This week's Amazing Kid Award goes to 8-year-old Abby Porter from Galena, Kansas, who deserves a virtual standing ovation for her recent display of bravery. The second-grader was on her usual ride to school last Wednesday, when her mom Shelly suddenly passed out–while cruising along the highway.
But instead of panicking, Abby grabbed the wheel and calmly steered the car onward herself.
Thankfully, the car was only going about 20 mph at the time; but Abby still had to expertly avoid hitting other cars on the busy highway. Even more impressive, she apparently switched lanes like a pro, and–though this kind of stops our hearts–managed to pull off a U-turn in the middle of the four-lane highway "because she was going home to her daddy." (Adorable.)
It was Officer Jimmy Hamilton who finally spotted the SUV and instantly knew something was wrong. Observing its slow pace and slightly unsteady course, he at first thought the driver might be under the influence. But as he drove up alongside the SUV, the officer could clearly see that Abby's mom was slumped over in the driver's seat, and that the little girl was steering its way.
According to the AP, Hamilton tried to get in front of Abby, so the SUV would bump his car and come to a stop; but the little girl kept switching lanes so she wouldn't bump his car. Then he tried driving alongside her and calling out to her to put the car in park. Abby yelled back that she didn't know how.
Finally, Hamilton convinced Abby to bump his car. "She just steered right into my rear bumper and I started applying slow pressure on my breaks until both vehicles stopped," he said. And it was just in time, too–the SUV had been steadily closing in on an upcoming intersection.
"I never saw her cry," Hamilton later told the AP. "It was just the expression on her face and the tone of her voice, you could tell she was scared. But she stayed with it."
Abby's mom, Shelly, was taken to a nearby hospital, but according to Galena Police Chief Larry Delmont, doctors were never able to determine what caused her to lose consciousness.
As for little Abby, her bravery and expert driving skills–which were apparently honed while sitting on Dad's lap and steering the tractor–will not go unnoticed. The Galena Police Department plans to honor her with a plaque for "outstanding bravery in a life-threatening situation."
Officer Hamilton will get his own props, too, since Delmont says he performed the "perfect job."