12-Year-old Steers Car to Safety After Dad Has Seizure on Highway

The boy has been hailed a hero for saving his family

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Scott J. Ferrell / Getty Images

Traffic on Interstate 95

It’s been said that in the most dire situations, you don’t think, you just act.

And indeed, for a 12-year-old whose father suffered a seizure behind the wheel of his car, the urgency of the situation prompted the boy to act — quickly. The man was driving on Interstate 95 in Peabody, Mass., about 20 miles north of Boston, when he began showing signs of an apparent seizure. His son grabbed the wheel and steered his father and 9-year-old sister to safety by guiding the vehicle into a breakdown lane and applying the brakes, the Associated Press reports.

(MORE: Life in the Fast Lane: Man Rides Electric Wheelchair Along Interstate 95)

Once he had parked the car, he used his father’s cellphone to call 911. Though he was unable to specify his location, officials traced the cellphone signal and were able to locate the family shortly thereafter. When police arrived at the scene, the father was unconscious. After being taken to a local clinic, he’s now reported to be in good condition.

The family’s name has not been released, so for now, the boy has been commended as an anonymous hero. And despite his ability, above all, to act quickly, he showed that in a dire situation, it can never hurt to pair quick reflexes with some clearheaded thinking.

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