31/07/2012 08:23 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

12-Year-Old Girl Steers Car To Safety As Grandad Dies At Wheel


A 12-year-old girl steered a pick-up truck travelling at 80mph to safety after her grandad died at the wheel.

Miranda Bowman from Seattle had been a passenger in 63-year-old Paul Parker's car as they drove home from an afternoon of go-karting in Newark, New Jersey. Mr Parker reportedly told his granddaughter he was feeling unwell and asked her to keep talking to him to keep him alert.

As they chatted, Miranda saw her granddad slump forward and hit his head on the driver's side window as they careered down the highway.

After what she described as 'freaking out' for thirty seconds and screaming at her grandad, the terrified youngster attempted to dial 911 on her mobile but could not get any reception. She then climbed underneath the steering wheel and depressed the foot break, before twisting back up into the driver's seat, and ramming her foot on the break and grabbing the steering wheel.

She plucky tween told reporters she had been 'scared' and had 'never felt like this before'.

"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. I was looking around and thought, 'Should I go into the corn field, should I keep going?'

"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 trees."

After coming to a halt in some trees, Miranda eventually kicked her way out of the car and was assisted by a woman who had seen the vehicle running out of control and had called the police.

Miranda's mum, Stephanie Bowman, told Seattle News of the phone call the youngster then made: "She said, 'Mom, we were in an accident and Pop-pop is dead'. I keep thinking to myself, 'I don't know if I could have watched that happen to him and reacted the way she did.'"

She added that the family is in shock from the accident and Mr Parker's death. He was said to be an 'active man who played fast-pitch baseball and started go-karting in his 60s'.

"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," said Stephanie.

Such a sad story, but such bravery from Miranda.