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New Jersey girl, 12, grabs the wheel after grandfather dies

A New Jersey girl steered a car to safety after her grandfather died at the wheel with his foot on the accelerator, PhillyBurbs.com reported.

Miranda Bowman, 12, and her 63-year-old grandfather, Paul Parker, were traveling to her Burlington Township, N.J., home on Tuesday, when the man told her he didn't feel well, PhillyBurbs.com reported yesterday.

“He said he didn’t feel well and told me to just keep talking to him,” Bowman told the website. “Then he said he was scared, closed his eyes, and put his head on the glass. That’s when I knew he was dead.”

Parker died of heart failure, the website reported, but he was still in the driver’s seat with his foot stuck on the accelerator. Relatives said the man suffered from a chronic heart condition.

As the car sped up approaching 80 mph, the teenager tried to calll 911, but was unable to unlock her cellphone.

“I thought I was going to die too,” Bowman told PhillyBurbs.com. “I didn’t know what to do. I took off my seat belt and slid over to put my foot on the brake, but I couldn’t stop it.”

Bowman grabbed the wheel, directing the car toward some bushes she hoped would help stop the car.

“It sounds weird, but I saw people do this on TV,” she told the website. “The car just kept running over bushes and trees. I ducked down and covered my head.”


Amazingly, Bowman wasn't hurt. Her parents told the website they were proud of their daughter.

“She is my hero,” Stephanie Bowman, Miranda's mother and the daughter of Paul Parker, told PhillyBurbs.com.

“As much as I am upset about losing my father, I can’t even imagine how worse this could have been,” she added.

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