When her mom fell ill with a seizure behind the wheel, a 9-year-old girl was forced to drive the family car to safety — somehow. But Jacey Jones, who not only had never driven a car before the frightening incident but was sitting the the back seat when her mom had the seizure, got control of the Hyundai and incredibly saved her family.
The scary episode happened last September, but on Thursday, Michigan state police honored little Jacey with their Distinguished Citizens Award, bringing plenty of attention to the quick-thinking little girl.
“I was just driving her to school like any other day and I — I woke up a few hours later in the hospital,” Jacey’s mom Samantha Jones told WEYI TV News. “I had a seizure while I was driving.”
Jacey was sitting in the back, on the driver’s side. Her sister was in the seat next to her and the car rolled out of control down the twisty West Saginaw Road in Bay City, Michigan. But rather than panic or break into tears, Jacey leaped over the front seat and got both hands on the steering wheel.
Keeping a cool head — even though she now says, “I was just really scared,” — Jacey kept the car under control as best she could, maneuvering into the parking lot of her school.
The incident was a lot like the case of eight-year-old Kansas girl Abby Porter, who also drove her family car when her mom passed out unconscious due to an illness in May of last year.
Miraculously, no one in the car was hurt, thanks to Jacey’s amazing heroism, but the same can’t be said for the Hyundai — or the mailboxes it took out on the way to the school parking lot.
“Smashed this whole side of the window,” dad Jeff Jones said, describing the damage to the vehicle. “You could see a mailbox smashed there. This whole quarter panel was ripped off.”
When Jacey got the car into the school parking lot, she had no idea how to stop it. Thankfully, a quick-thinking adult, the parent of another child at the school, managed to get inside the car and throw the transmission into “park.”
“My daughter was amazing and she saved us that morning,” Samantha said on Thursday.
As for Jacey Jones, well, as scary as the situation was that day, she says taking responsibility for her family is nothing new for her. She is the oldest of the four Jones sisters.
“Sometimes when my mom is cooking dinner, I have to watch them and stuff,” the girl said.
Watch a news report about the 9-year-old girl who had to learn in a hurry how to drive a car when her mom fell ill, in the video above.
[Image: WEYI TV Screen Grab]