When siblings Darrell, 8, and Ahnlyse, 6, got in the car with their grandmother, they thought they were just going out to eat. They had no idea that by the end of the ride they would both be hailed heroes.
As they drove down the road in Lakeland, Florida, their grandmother seemed to doze off at the wheel. The car wove through the traffic as the kids tried to figure out what was going on.
Little did they know their grandmother had just had a stroke.
Thankfully, the car was only going about 20 miles per hour, but other drivers honked at them as the car veered over the lines and ran stop signs.
“The car behind us started honking because we were driving too slow and I was waving my hand out like this,” Darrell recalled.
Despite the terrifying situation, the kids managed to stay calm as they tried to figure out what to do. Darrell, who was sitting in the passenger seat, grabbed the wheel to steer and then Googled “how to drive a stick shift,” soon discovering that the car was actually automatic. He told Ahnlyse to jump in the front seat.
“Ahnlyse got right here on her lap, and I just grab the wheel and just try to turn with her,” Darrell said. Ahnlyse used her feet to work the pedals.
Miraculously, the car didn’t hit anything and the kids managed to turn the car into a hotel parking lot. They finally came to a stop when they hit a curb. Then they got out and got someone to call 911.
When police arrived, they were blown away by the young kids’ heroic actions and how they were able to stay so calm in such an intense situation.
“I would definitely remember their names, get their autographs now,” School Resource Officer Preston Chatman said. “They’re going to be something in society and the world.”
While the scary incident happened in June, Lakeland Police honored Darrell and Ahnlyse just this week.
The siblings understand the magnitude of what they did that day. When asked what they think of themselves they said in unison, “a hero.”
They certainly are! They not only saved their own lives and their grandmother’s that day, but also protected countless others who were on the road.
Thankfully, their grandmother is doing well as she recovers from her stroke. I’m sure Darrell and Ahnlyse are helping to take good care of her!
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