12-Year-Old Keeps Calm in Tragic Situation; Awarded for Bravery


Image from phillyburbs.com

12-year-old New Jersey native, Miranda Bowman, got the scare of her life when her grandfather, Paul Parker, 63, experienced a fatal heart attack behind the wheel of a moving vehicle. Bowman, who had spent the afternoon with her grandfather riding go karts at New Jersey Motorsports Park, said that as they were leaving Parker told her he wasn’t feeling well. While driving down the road Bowman’s grandfather requested that she continue to talk to him to keep him alert. Less than a minute later Miranda heard his head hit the driver’s side window. “He said he was scared, closed his eyes, and put his head on the glass. That’s when I knew he was dead,” explained the 12-year-old to the Burlington County Times.

Parker still had his foot on the accelerator and Miranda sprung into action once she realized the car was approaching 80 mph.  After unsuccessfully attempting to unlock her cell phone and call 911, Bowman unbuckled her seat belt, slid over toward the driver’s seat, and managed to get her foot on the brake. Not wanting to harm anyone else, Miranda steered the car in the direction of the woods on the side of the road. “Down the street was a red light and I saw woods. I said ‘I can’t hurt anybody else, I can only hurt myself’,” said Bowman.

Miranda was able to bring the vehicle to a stop. After struggling to get out of the passenger side, she ended up having to kick out a broken piece of the door. After escaping the car she says she fell to the ground and cried. A witness to the accident called 911 and helped the visibly shaken young girl. “A lady said, ‘Come here, calm down,’ and then I sat on someone else’s driveway, and called my mom,” Miranda said.

While Miranda’s mother, Stephanie Bowman, is saddened at the loss of her father, she can’t help but be grateful for the safety and bravery of her little girl. “I’m not experiencing the loss as much as everyone else, because I am too grateful, and blessed to have my baby girl. I just couldn’t be any more proud of her,” Stephanie Bowman has said. “How she actually did it is beyond me. I don’t know if I could watch my grandfather die, and do what she did.”

Miranda Bowman was awarded a medal and a plaque for her bravery that displays a photo of her and her grandfather, Paul Parker.

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