A 6-year-old Nebraska boy who took the wheel when his diabetic dad passed out saved his family — and is now being hailed a hero.
Tustin Mains was in the back seat of the family pickup truck with his 3-year-old brother when his father, Philip Mains, suffered a low blood sugar attack and suddenly lost consciousness.
The quick-thinking Tustin grabbed the wheel and kept the vehicle from crashing until police were able to bring it to a stop, authorities said.
The family had been driving home from dinner at a local restaurant Sunday in North Platte, Neb., when tragedy was averted.
"I saw my dad fall asleep and I climbed over the seat and got on my dad's lap," Tustin told The North Platte Telegraph. "I was scared."
Tustin leapt into his father's lap so he could steer and see out the windshield. Mains' foot had slipped off the accelerator, but even at idle the Chevrolet Avalanche was going an estimated 10-15 mph, police said.
"I remember getting up to about the mall — that was about 6:45," Philip Mains told the Telegraph. "The next thing I remember was waking up to the officer and paramedics, and it was 8:15."
The kindergartner steered the truck several blocks, even turning around when he entered a neighborhood he didn't recognize, until he was spotted by police.
North Platte officer Roger Freeze ran up to the moving pickup, reached through an open window and rammed the gearshift into park.
When he saw his dad "fall asleep," Tustin said, he got scared, then got another fright when officer Freeze appeared at the truck's window.
But when Freeze abruptly stopped the pickup?
"I was just happy," Tustin said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.