Quick-thinking boy steers truck to safety

When the Grand Junction Fire Department was dispatched to Interstate 70 on Sunday morning, it sounded like a routine medical call.

What paramedics discovered when they arrived, however, was anything but ordinary.

Eight-year-old Dillon Earl may have saved his own life, his grandmother’s life and the lives of other motorists around him when he managed to safely guide a speeding truck to a stop after his grandmother suffered a seizure while driving.

The two were traveling east on I-70 approaching the 24 Road exit when the seizure struck Lisa DeKruger just before 11 a.m.

“She’s had seizures before, but never while driving,” said Justin Earl, Dillon’s father.

Sitting next to DeKruger in the front passenger seat, Dillon reached over, took hold of the wheel and steered the vehicle to a stop in the right-hand lane.

DeKruger’s foot had slipped off the accelerator, allowing the truck to slow down, Grand Junction Battalion Chief Duncan Brown said.

Brown said another driver noticed the vehicle in the traffic lane, called 911 and helped move the vehicle onto the exit ramp.

Brown estimated the truck was traveling 75 mph when DeKruger suffered the seizure.

“The end result came out very, very well,” Brown said. “It could have been very tragic.”

Justin Earl said DeKruger is doing well.


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