A seven-year-old came to her father’s rescue Thursday evening by steering the car to safety after he passed out behind the wheel from an opioid overdose, police said.
Eric Roman, 37, reportedly fell unconscious behind the wheel of his Lexus due to an alleged opioid overdose in Brooklyn around 5 p.m. when his quick-thinking daughter jumped behind the wheel, the New York Daily News reported.
Two FDNY emergency medical technicians spotted the child sitting on her unconscious father’s lap. She was behind the wheel, steering the car toward the Belt Parkway from Ocean Avenue.
“We turned with the car and saw this little girl behind the wheel,” said EMT and mother of three Arlene Garcia. “I’m a mom, so I was freaking out. I started yelling at her to pull over and stop the car.”
“There’s no way her feet could reach the pedals. We were turning with her, telling her to pull over, waving our arms wildly at her, but she wasn’t pulling over,” she added.
The EMTs, who just finished delivering a patient to a nearby hospital, drove the ambulance in front of the slow-moving Lexus so it would stop the car, the Daily Mailreported.
The Lexus hit the ambulance’s rear bumper before coming to a halt.
When Garcia and fellow EMT Charles Zimring asked the child what happened, she responded that her father was asleep, and she was “going to finish driving him home.”
The girl told the EMTs that her dad passed out while she was sitting in the back seat, so she unbuckled her seat belt and took control of the car to keep it from crashing.
“She wasn’t scared at all. She was so great,” Garcia said. “All she was worried about was getting grounded for driving without permission.”
The New York Post reported that first responders gave Roman the opioid antidote Naloxone to revive him and took him to Coney Island Hospital.
Roman was charged Friday with reckless endangerment, driving while impaired by drugs, and acting in a manner injurious to a child.
Police say the seven-year-old girl did not suffer any injuries.