8-Year-Old Boy Steers Mom’s Ford Ka to Safety When She Blacks Out While Driving

It’s good to have a guardian angel, but it’s even better when it’s more than a spiritual being – when it’s made of flesh and bones. For Lauren Smith, that angel is her 8-year-old son, Ben.
Lauren Smith's 8-year-old son steered their car to safety when she blacked out while doing 65mph 6 photos
Photo: Eastnews Press Agency /
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Lauren is 27 years old and, as she tells The Mirror, she’s never had a seizure or a history of blacking out. Yet it happened to her earlier this week, as she was driving her Ford Ka at 65 mph on the A120 in Essex, UK. Luckily for her, she had her son, Ben Harper, in the passenger seat and he acted right away.

As Lauren blacked out, the car went out of the lane and hit the central barriers, she tells the publication. That’s when Ben reached over and grabbed the wheel, managing to steer the car to safety across two lanes, on the grass near the hard shoulder. In so doing, he avoided a more severe crash, which may have had fatal consequences.

Lauren tells the publication that Ben has been allowed to ride in the front only since September last year – and it’s a good thing he was there and that he was so quick to act.

“I've never had a seizure before or even fainted so to do what he did was incredible,” she explains. “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.”

“I am still in shock that he knew what to do. He's my hero. I keep thinking about what would have happened if he had not acted so quickly, I hate to think how it could have ended,” Lauren adds. “I am so grateful and I've been telling him over and over again, ‘what you did was amazing, you literally are a lifesaver’ so he realizes what he has done – it's a big deal.”

After he managed to pull the car over, Ben was about to call for an ambulance but he didn’t get the chance to, because other motorists rushed over to check on them. Both mother and son were taken to a nearby hospital, where doctors determined that Lauren’s seizure was most likely caused by a virus.
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About the author: Elena Gorgan
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Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
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