May 23rd, 2009 16:21 EST
Boy Jumps Into Action After Dad Faints Behind The Wheel
Police in North Platte, Nebraska, said a 6-year-old boy jumped behind the wheel of his family`s pickup truck after his father at the controls fainted due to low blood sugar, and prevented the truck from colliding into anything before a city officer responded by bringing the vehicle to a stop.
Last Sunday, Tustin Mains was riding alongside his 3-year-old brother Sunday in the back seat, with his father, Phillip Mains, at the wheel of the family truck, while returning home from a restaurant when he noticed his dad hunched over the driving wheel.
Tustin jumped into action and hopped onto his father`s lap. With the lift he needed to look out the windshield, he was able to then commandeer the vehicle while seeing the road ahead of the truck. Although Main`s foot had shifted off of the accelerator, the Chevrolet Avalanche continued to cruise along at an idle speed of about 10 to 15 mph, the North Platte police reported.
The youngster navigated the vehicle several blocks, and even made a U-turn at a neighborhood with which he was familiar, before an patrolman recognized the child behind the wheel and the man slumped over underneath him.
Officer Roger Freeze dashed toward the moving truck, extended his arm through the open driver`s window and put the gearshift in park.
"I remember getting up to about the mall - that was about 6:45," Phillip Mains recalled to The North Platte Telegraph. "The next thing I remember was waking up to the officer and paramedics, and it was 8:15."
For their bravery in a desperate situation, the officer and Tustin Mains, who, without his quick thinking, may have ended up in a tragic accident, were commended by Police Chief Martin Gutschenritter.
"I will be issuing him a departmental citation for his quick, professional action on this case. That is also a very special young man. He was able to take quick action when his dad was incapacitated, and we are very proud of him, too," Gutschenritter reported.
Once he noticed that his dad passed out, Tustin admitted that he was frightened, and was even more so later on when patrolman Freeze came up on his driver side window.
But Tustin expressed his gratitude when the officer finally brought the truck to standstill.
"I was just happy," he said