Sherman Fire-Rescue presented 13-year-old Jake Jones with its Life Saver Award on Monday for saving his grandmother last October after she had a major medical emergency while driving on U.S. Highway 75.
Sherman Fire Chief Danny Jones said without Jake Jones’ quick thinking, the incident likely could have “turned out much worse.” Danny Jones explained Jake Jones’ grandmother, Deborah Boyer, lost consciousness shortly after entering the northbound lanes of Highway 75 on Oct. 31 last year after the pair left Sherman’s Fright Fest event at Lucy Kidd-Key Park.
“Jake noticed that the car was drifting toward the concrete barricades there at the highway,” Danny Jones said. “At that point, he heard his grandmother make an unusual sound. He looked over and noticed that his grandmother was not conscious and didn’t have control of the vehicle they were riding in. He undid his seat belt, reached across to grab the steering wheel, put his leg over her leg so he could reach the brake with his foot. He steered the car to the shoulder of the roadway and brought it to a safe stop.”
After Jake Jones placed the vehicle in park, he told witnesses to call 911. Danny Jones said Sherman Fire-Rescue treated and transported Boyer to the hospital, but after treatment she was at Monday’s Sherman City Council meeting to see the presentation to her grandson.
“If Jake had not reacted the way he did, himself, his grandmother and possibly others traveling on that highway could have been seriously injured or worse,” Danny Jones said, calling Jake Jones “pretty levelheaded for a 12-year-old,” his age at the time of the incident.
Danny Jones presented Jake Jones with a Sherman Fire-Rescue fire helmet with a custom-made shield and a certificate of the department’s appreciation.
“Jake, you are only the second person to ever receive this award,” Danny Jones said as the council and audience gave Jake Jones a standing ovation. “You should be extremely proud of your actions that night. The members of Sherman Fire-Rescue and the citizens of Sherman are very proud of you. We thank you and congratulate you for being a life saver.”
Jake Jones declined the opportunity to speak in front of the council.
The previous recipient of Sherman Fire-Rescue’s Life Saver Award was 10-year-old Allie Holtzclaw in late 2015. Holtzclaw dove to the bottom of the family pool and pulled her 2-year-old brother Micah out after he rode his tricycle into the deep end and sunk 10 feet underwater.