Girl, 8, honored for driving car after mother passes out

RIVERTON, Kan. (CNN) — An eight-year-old girl is being lauded as a hero after her bravery and quick thinking likely saved her mother’s life — as well as her own.

Second-grader Abby Porter was honored Thursday at a special award assembly at Riverton Elementary.

“It makes us feel pretty proud,” said Abby’s father Roger Porter. “It’s hard to grasp. It’s all happened in such a short period of time.”

On Wednesday morning, Abby and her mother, Shelly Porter, were on their way to school when Shelly suddenly fell unconscious.

So, Abby took the wheel and turned the vehicle around to head back home. “I got out of my seat belt and I started driving,” she said.

Police officer Jimmy Hamilton noticed the car swerving east-bound on Route 66 and thought it was a drunk driver.

“I got beside the vehicle and I could see that the driver was unconscious and there was a small girl steering the vehicle,” he said.

After several attempts to stop Abby’s car by moving in front of the vehicle, the officer pulled along side her and she rolled down the window.

He explained he was trying to stop her car by placing his car in front of hers to let the bumpers hit.

“She said she didn’t want to do that. She was scared. So I explained to her we needed to do that to avoid a wreck down the road. So she said she would,” Hamilton said. “I got back in front of her and started slowing down and when I felt her front bumper, bump the back of my cruiser, I just started keeping slow and steady pressure on the brakes until both vehicles stopped.”

At Thursday’s assembly, the mayor presented Abby with a plaque, her school principal presented her with a certificate and the Galena Police Dept. presented her with gift certificates to several area businesses.

Her schoolmates showed a little appreciation too.

“I kind of feel like I was just in the right spot at the right time,” Hamilton said. “I think Abby’s the hero and I think the good Lord was in charge of the whole situation because a lot of things could’ve went wrong, but it all worked out good.”

May 15, 2014 was officially named Abby Porter Day in Riverton.

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