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Old 08-01-2012, 01:43 AM   #1
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Read this in the Morning Sentinel out of Maine. That girl has real presence of mind and excellent situational awareness. Brings a tear to the eye though.

Girl grabs wheel when grandfather dies in NJ

The Associated Press

NEWARK, N.J. — As the pickup truck she was riding in careened down the road at 80 mph, 12-year-old Miranda Bowman knew one thing: She had to stop it.

Miranda's grandfather, Paul Parker, was driving her home Tuesday from an afternoon of go-karting when he told Miranda he didn't feel well. He asked her to keep talking to keep him alert. She asked about things she spied on the side of the road — the racetrack, the unfinished bleachers. A few seconds later Miranda heard her grandfather's head hit the driver's side window.

Parker, 63, had just died of a heart attack, and his foot was pressing on the accelerator.

"He was like, 'Miranda I'm scared, I've never felt like this before,'" Miranda said during a phone interview from her Burlington Township home. "I was scared because he would never say that. He was a tough cookie."

After a "30-second freak-out" during which she cried, "Pop-pop, Pop-pop, Pop-pop," Miranda realized the car was speeding up and drifting toward the side of the road. She undid her seat belt and tried to call 911 on her cellphone but she wasn't getting any service. She then climbed underneath the steering wheel and pressed her hand on the brake.

But even though the car was slowing down, it was still hurtling down the road.

Miranda popped up from underneath the steering wheel, wedged her right foot under her left and pressed on the brake as hard as she could.

"I was going to put it in park and I thought we were going too fast," she said. "I thought it would do the fish tail or flip over."

Instead she grabbed onto the steering wheel and tried to find a place where she could force the car to stop.

"I was looking around and thought, 'Should I go into the corn field, should I keep going?'" she said. "Down the street was a red light and I saw woods. I said 'I can't hurt anybody else, I can only hurt myself,'" by putting the car into the trees.

Miranda said the pickup truck ran into a few trees. She tried to open the door, but it wouldn't budge. She wasn't able to smash out the window. She finally spied a broken part of the passenger's side door and kicked it open.

A woman driving behind the car saw it swerving and called 911 while following it. Miranda said she fell to her knees and wailed after getting out of the car. She then called her mother and grandmother.

"She said, 'Mom, we were in an accident and Pop-pop is dead,'" said Miranda's mother, Stephanie Bowman. "I keep thinking to myself, 'I don't know if I could have watched that happen to him and reacted the way she did.'"

Stephanie Bowman said the family is in shock from all that happened. Paul Parker was an active man who played fast-pitch baseball and started go-karting in his 60s. It was the first time Miranda watched her grandfather go-kart; she had long asked him to take her to the track.

"I'm very grateful to have my daughter be OK but losing my father at the same time, I'm just numb from the two emotions battling each other out," Stephanie Bowman said.

Miranda said she knew how to react in an emergency situation because her father is an EMT. She also said she watches a lot of "Law and Order" on television and thought about what might happen on the show. And she always watches what people do while driving a car, so she knew to head for the brake.

Miranda said she wants to be a sign language interpreter when she is an adult.

"I'm very amazed by her, very impressed by her," Stephanie Bowman said. "Where she got it from God only knows. He was her angel that day."



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Old 08-01-2012, 01:54 AM   #2
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Courageous young lady.



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Old 08-01-2012, 02:18 AM   #3
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OMG! I would have been terrified! She did great

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Old 08-01-2012, 02:44 AM   #4
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Very glad that the little girl was able to save herself, but very sad that she had to lose her Grandpa in that manner.

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Old 08-01-2012, 04:22 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Zombiegirl View Post
Very glad that the little girl was able to save herself, but very sad that she had to lose her Grandpa in that manner.
I would be willing to bet that Grandpa would not have wanted to have her join him either. What I mean is that if you are an old codger and aren't feeling well, best not be driving your granddaughter around. Just something to think about.
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Old 08-01-2012, 04:45 AM   #6
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I would be willing to bet that Grandpa would not have wanted to have her join him either. What I mean is that if you are an old codger and aren't feeling well, best not be driving your granddaughter around. Just something to think about.
My Gramps stopped driving when he was 75 because he wasn't comfortable doing it anymore which I thought was very responsible.
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Old 08-01-2012, 05:15 AM   #7
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My mom just recently stopped driving at 80, my 85-year-old dad lost his privilege about a year ago but got it back just a week ago. My grandmother got her license renewed when she was 95, but had a stroke a year later and literally couldn't drive any more (she passed away at 99 7 years ago).

I have known several old farts who were very good drivers in their 80's and 90's. I even knew one old codger who was driving at 101 (he's dead now, died peacefully in his sleep. Unlike all of his passengers LOL!) Seriously, some old folks can drive very well, but if you are not feeling well then don't drive!!!

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Old 08-01-2012, 05:32 AM   #8
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What a traumatic experience for both the grandfather and the grand daughter. I'm glad to hear at least the one life was saved.



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