Boy, 8, steers mother’s car to safety when she blacks out doing 65mph

Boy, 8, steers mother’s car to safety when she blacks out doing 65mph

December 7, 2018

‘My son’s a hero!’: Boy, eight, grabs wheel of mother’s car and steers it to safety when she blacks out doing 65mph on a busy dual carriageway

  • Lauren Smith, 27, was travelling along the busy A120 dual carriageway in Essex 
  • But she suddenly started to black out and crashed into the central barriers 
  • Her son Ben grabbed the steering wheel and guided the Ford Ka to safety

An eight-year-old boy steered his mother’s 65mph car to safety after she had a seizure at the wheel. 

Lauren Smith, 27, was travelling along the busy A120 dual carriageway in Essex, when suddenly she started to black out and crashed into the central barriers.

Her quick-thinking son Ben Hedger, who was in the front passenger seat, grabbed the steering wheel and guided the Ford Ka across the two lanes and on to a grass verge next to the hard shoulder.

Ben Hedger (pictured) steered his mother’s car to safety after she had a seizure at the wheel while driving 65mph

The primary school pupil even put the hazard warning lights on during the terrifying ordeal on Monday afternoon.


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Teaching assistant Lauren praised her little boy’s actions as heroic and labelled him a ‘lifesaver’.

She said: ‘I’ve never had a seizure before or even fainted so to do what he did was incredible.

Lauren Smith (pictured), 27, was driving when suddenly she started to black out and crashed into the central barriers

‘He said he was not panicking about what was going to happen to us – he was just confused and wondering if I was going to wake up again.

‘I am still in shock that he knew what to do. He’s my hero. I keep thinking about what would have happened if he had not acted so quickly, I hate to think how it could have ended.

‘I am so grateful and I’ve been telling him over and over again, “what you did was amazing, you literally are a lifesaver” so he realises what he has done – it’s a big deal.’

Her quick-thinking son, who was in the front passenger seat, grabbed the steering wheel and guided the Ford Ka (pictured) across the two lanes and on to a grass verge

The youngster was about to ring the emergency services when other motorists came to help.

Following the incident, the pair were taken by ambulance to Colcheter General Hospital where Lauren was given a series of tests, with doctors believing the seizure could have been the result of a virus.

Ben has only been allowed to sit in the front passenger seat since September – which proved crucial for him to be able to reach the steering wheel.

The mother and son were travelling along the A120 dual carriageway in Essex

Headteacher Julie O’Mara of Chase Lane Primary School, of which Ben attends and where his mother works, said: ‘I’d like to commend Ben for his bravery – without his actions it could have been a tragic accident.

‘For someone so young to have displayed such bravery, maturity and quick-thinking is very impressive.

‘We are all very proud of him and so relieved that he and Lauren are both fine.’

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