Teen takes control of wheel after driver passes out

Brett Findling, 13, Novinger

If you had to make a split second life or death decision what would you do, and what if you were only 13-years-old? â??He said he needed to go to the bathroom really bad and that he felt dizzy,â?? Brett Findling said.

They were traveling east on Highway 36, just west of Hannibal, when 13-year-old Brett Findling, of Novinger, had to grow up fast out on the open road.

Something happened to the driver, 49-year-old Ronald Brown. â??He was being responsible and about to pull over to the side of the road and stop when he blacked out,â?? said Findling.

Findling said his first thought was, â??Oh, crap.â?? After the truck crossed the median and hit a fence, Brett says he went into action.

â??I noticed a pond was coming up â?¦ I went over and stepped on the brake and turned it into the cement post.â??

His mother said she believes a guardian angel was with him. â??I'm very proud of him and just canâ??t imagine even doing something like that myself,â?? said Christina Findling. â??Staying focused enough to realize in that quick of a time frame what needed to be done.â??

Staying focused prevented a potential head on collision and potentially saved everyoneâ??s life. In a few years it will be time for Brett to get behind the wheel and his mother said when the time comes, she will be more confident in him. â??One good thing that's come out of it is I donâ??t have to stress to him to put his seatbelt on. Heâ??s stressing us to put our seatbelts on.â??

Brett said he does not know how he stayed calmed. â??I donâ??t think most people would have done what I did because they probably would have been freaking out too much,â?? Findling said. â??Weâ??re really proud of him,â?? Christina Findling said. â??What he did was a great thing.â??

Both Brown and Findling suffered only minor injuries in the August 11, 2013 crash.

The dictionary defines hero as "a person of distinguished courage or ability that is the definition of a hero." Would you call this young man a hero?