Siblings stop car after dad loses consciousness on Loop 101

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

PEORIA, Ariz. -- A teenage girl, her younger brother and a Peoria Police Department call taker were honored for their heroic efforts after the children's father suffered a medical emergency at the wheel of his car earlier this month.

On April 7, 13-year-old Kylah Woody called 911 and said her father was experiencing symptoms of low blood sugar and was fading in and out of consciousness while driving on Loop 101.

"I'm in the car with my dad right now and his blood sugar is low and I can't control the car!" Kylah told 911 dispatcher Amanda Shearer.

Shearer talked calmly with Kylah and suggested ways she and her 11-year-old brother, Michael, could safely maneuver the car.

Kylah and Michael worked together to control the vehicle and navigate it safely at speeds as high as 90 mph for about 10 miles.

Kylah said Michael, who was in the front passenger seat, took control of the wheel, turned the hazard lights on and tried to get their dad's foot off the pedal.

"When he was unconscious, like snapping in and out, he was stiff, he kind of wouldn't let go of the wheel so it was kind of hard to turn and I would almost get his leg off the gas pedal but then he would just force it really strongly on the pedal and I couldn't get it off," Michael said.

Shearer coordinated with the Arizona Department of Public Safety to give officers updates on the vehicle's location.

The siblings eventually managed to bring the car safely to a stop.

"I thought we were going to have to crash to stop because I didn't think that any of the cop cars were going to find where we were," Michael said.

Peoria police Chief Roy Minter Jr. honored the three in an awards ceremony on Monday. Minter told Kylah and Michael that they "both acted bravely in the face of danger" as he awarded them the Peoria Police Department's Chief's Commendation. Shearer received the department's Meritorious Performance Award.