A heroic eight-year-old boy manoeuvered his mother's car to safety after she blacked out at the wheel on a highway.
Lauren Smith had a seizure on the A120 near Colchester, in Essex, while she was driving her son Ben Hedger home from school. Little did they know that their lives on this usual trip would be thrown into peril when Lauren suddenly suffered a seizure on the busy dual carriageway. She crashed the Ford Ka into the central reservation, forcing Ben to step in and guide the car, that had been going at 60mph, onto the hard shoulder.
Smith, 27, who is from Colchester, recalled the drama, which took place on December 3rd. She told the BBC: "When I started having the seizure at first I grabbed the wheel and was steering erratically so because of that we moved from the left lane into the central reservation and crashed into that. We were scraping along and that is when Ben realized he needed to do something."
Ben put the hazards on, grabbed the steering wheel and steered them to the hard shoulder where they continued along until the car stalled. Smith praised her son for his fast response to the horrifying incident which could have easily cost them both their lives.
"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."
After Ben pulled the car over to safety, the little boy was about to call the emergency services when another motorist stopped to help him and his mother. Smith, who said she had never had a seizure before, came around after 10 minutes later. The pair were then taken by ambulance to Colchester General Hospital. After a series of tests, doctors concluded the seizure was the result of a virus.
Smith is still in shock that her son knew what to do and she understands how terrified he must have been at the same time. She has been telling him over and over again that what he did was absolutely amazing and that he is "a lifesaver". She wants him to realize that what he did was heroic. 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.
Headteacher Julie O'Mara of Chase Lane Primary School, which Ben attends and where his mother works as a teacher's assistant, 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."