Georgia Boy Honored for Taking Wheel After Mom Has Seizure
ATLANTA - How far do you have to go to get your picture taken with the Georgia governor? For Jacob Thompson, the answer is 20 unbelievable miles down a stretch of I-75.
On Tuesday, Gov. Sonny Perdue honored three children for calling 911 in incredible circumstances. Standing there next to him, smiling with a mouth full of braces, was 10-year-old Jacob.
Last June, his mother had a seizure while driving from Monticello, Ga., back to their home in Perry, Ga.
"All of a sudden I had a very strange feeling come over me and that's the last I remember," Annalee Hanner said.
Unconscious, her foot jammed the gas pedal going over 60 miles an hour. Jacob, sitting in the seat next to her, simply reached over and grabbed the wheel.
And then, as if taking the wheel were not enough, he called 911. The operator on the line guided him through what to do, weaving through traffic on I-75, whipping past Bibb County and then Peach County signs.
When Annalee came to, he was still buckled up, a cell phone in his right hand, the steering wheel in his left. She panicked and frantically tried to claw his hand from the steering wheel. Then, they pulled the van to the side of the road, and the trip was over.
A state trooper pulled up behind them, and Jacob's father Mike Hanner wasn't far behind. Everyone realized the gravity of what had happened: Jacob had driven nearly 20 miles through multiple counties, scraping a tractor trailer, knocking over traffic cones, and ultimately parking the car safely, all at the age of 9.
"You just wake up one day and realize what they're capable of," Mike Hanner said.
To meet Jacob Thompson, is to meet a boy of freckles and complete composure.
"I've driven a lot of things like carts, go karts. So I thought I could do it and I did it," Jacob said.
When he went back to school in the fall, his classmates did not believe him.
Jacob admits he was nervous. With the governor putting an award around his neck and giving him a certificate, his classmates have no reason not to believe him now.