A 10-Year-Old Boy Steers Truck to Safety After Driver Passes Out

March 28, 2016 Updated: March 29, 2016

Christopher Wheeler, a third-grader from Alabama, was riding down the highway in a truck when the driver, his 70-year-old neighbor, passed out from a diabetic episode. 

The truck began to swerve in traffic, and continued for several miles, running multiple red lights and almost crashing into a few cars head-on before Christopher managed to slam the breaks. 

I didn’t want us to die. The police were behind us the whole time with their lights on.
— Christopher Wheeler

“I didn’t want us to die,” Christopher told WSFA-TV. “The police were behind us the whole time with their lights on. I told him to stop, and he kept going. I put my foot on the brake, and I got the steering wheel and pulled it over and put it in park.”

When law enforcement officials first approached the vehicle, they saw Christopher in the passenger seat and thought he might’ve been kidnapped. Christopher had to hold the unconscious driver’s hands up so that law enforcement could see them. 

“Christopher turned off the truck and I still can’t see the driver’s hands,” Special Agent Eric Salvador told ABC News. “The driver isn’t complying so Christopher grabbed his hand and put it on the steering wheel so I could approach the car.”

What Christopher did is nothing short of impressive.
— Eric Salvador, state's attorney general's office

Miraculously, neither Christopher nor anyone else was injured in the ordeal, and the driver was taken to a hospital. 

“I’ve been doing law enforcement almost eight years and I’ve never heard or seen anything like this happen,” Salvador said. “What Christopher did is nothing short of impressive.”

Christopher’s father said that he had taught him how to drive at a young age, so he knew where the breaks were. 

“I’m just proud of him,” Christopher’s father said.