8-year-old girl takes the wheel, saves the day
8-year-old girl takes the wheel, saves the day Abby Porters father allowed her to drive a tractor (WIBW.COM)
8-year-old girl takes the wheel, saves the day
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An 8-year-old southeast Kansas girl is being hailed for her quick, calm thinking after she grabbed the steering wheel and drove the family's SUV when her mother fell unconscious on their highway ride to school.

Abby Porter and her mom, Shelly, were on Kansas 66 headed to her school in Riverton early Wednesday when Shelly had a medical emergency and passed out behind the wheel, Galena Police Chief Larry Delmont said Thursday.

With her mother slumped over, Abby a second-grader whose father sometimes lets her steer their tractor and lawn mower leaned over and took the wheel. Delmont said at some point, Abby even executed a U-turn on the four-lane highway, "because she was going home to her daddy."

"That's at 8:37 in the morning, and there is a lot of traffic, a lot of trucks," Delmont said.

Officer Jimmy Hamilton noticed the SUV going about 20 mph and weaving a bit between the two lanes, and suspected someone was driving under the influence. As he got closer he noticed the woman slumped over in the driver seat and saw Abby at the wheel. The vehicle was also closing in on an intersection.

Hamilton tried to get in front of Abby's car to slow her down, but she kept switching lanes to avoid bumping into his car. Hamilton got alongside her and told Abby to put the vehicle in park, but she didn't know how. He then told her she needed to bump into him to stop the car, but Abby said she didn't want to because she was afraid.

He convinced Abby bumping into his car was OK.

"I never saw her cry," Hamilton said. "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."

Hamilton said he positioned his car in front of the SUV, "and she just steered right into my rear bumper, and I started applying slow pressure on my breaks until both vehicles stopped."

Emergency crews got Abby's mother to the hospital, but Delmont said he didn't know what caused her to lose consciousness.

The police department in Galena, a town of about 3,000 residents about 150 miles south of Kansas City, planned to present Abby with a plaque for "outstanding bravery in a life-threatening situation."

The department also plans to honor Hamilton, Delmont said.

"That officer did a perfect job."

Critical thinking challenge: Why are both Abby and Officer Hamilton being honored?

Source URL: https://www.tweentribune.com/article/teen/8-year-old-girl-takes-wheel-saves-day/

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COMMENTS (54)
  • alyssef-Orv
    5/16/2014 - 03:37 p.m.

    I'm so proud of her! She is such a brave girl for taking over her mom's SUV after her mom passed out. I believe that Officer Hamilton deserves being honored for heping Abby park. I'm so glad that he helped her and Abby deserves to be honor for being as brave as to go behind the wheel and to literally start driving.

  • isabelm-Koc
    5/17/2014 - 08:54 p.m.

    Wow! That's amazing, an eight year old drove a SUV in the freeway where theres a lot of traffic and more dangerous. I believe that honoring the officer and Abby is the least that they deserve for saving the day.

  • ConnorM77775
    5/18/2014 - 05:53 p.m.

    It was very brave for a 8 year girl to take control of a car, especially with her mom being unconscious. I don't think i would have been able to do that at 8 years old. It is amazing that she stayed so calm and never crashed the car. I also find it surprising that nobody saw her driving and called the police for help. She definitely deserved an award for this but i don't think the police officer really deserves one because he was just doing his job.

  • El9699
    5/19/2014 - 08:41 a.m.

    Abby and officer Hamilton are both being honored because they were both helpful and brave.Abby was steering the wheel controlling where the SUV was going.And the officer was helping Abby.

  • RMansaray123
    5/19/2014 - 08:41 a.m.

    I can only imagine how scared she must have been. If that guy hadn't showed up when he did, i don't think That little girl would have made it that far. I admit, she is a brave little girl and not only did she save her mothers life, she saved her own. It's a good thing her dad taught her how to drive...well almost.

  • 2annabellac
    5/19/2014 - 10:01 a.m.

    i think that it was really cool that the little girl saved the day. It must of helped her when her dad sometimes let her drive the tractor and the lawn mower. She must of felt really scared and probably wanted to cry, bur she didn't let her fear take over her and stop her from doing what she had to. Abby and officer Hamilton are both being honored because of Abby's quick thinking. Officer Hamilton because he helped the little girl and that mom out and he helped Abby slow the car down and no one got hurt.

  • Liliana98Gaeta
    5/19/2014 - 10:43 a.m.

    I think it is amazing a 2nd grader can drive an SUV without crashing. I think someone else would have panicked and stopped the car if they knew how. I don't think I would be able to take the wheel with my mom passed out. I don't think a medal is enough to reward her for her actions.

  • amandad-
    5/19/2014 - 11:13 a.m.

    Abby and Officer Hamilton are being honored because they saved people's lives. An 8 year old girl named Abby who was driving the SUV after her mom passed out. The officer told Abby to bump into him but Abby was scared. Abby and Officer Hamilton are now heroes.

  • galvinc-
    5/19/2014 - 11:20 a.m.

    This story is about a 8 year old girl who takes the wheel to save the day her mom was unconscious and she was passed out. she drove the family SUV on the highway speed about 20 mp hour . She and the officer got an award for helping her mom .

  • brady.q-
    5/19/2014 - 11:20 a.m.

    The story is all about a 8 year old girl who saves the day. Her mother passed out awhile she was driving Abby grabbed the wheel of the SUV she drive . The officer told her to bump into his car. to stop but she was scared

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