PARK RAPIDS, Minn. — She's not old enough to drive, but a Minnesota 13-year-old was forced to learn fast. Her mom was behind the wheel in late September, but had a sudden medical issue in a rural area near Laporte.
As a mother of a teenager, Barb Foss is often on the road.
"I joke with my coworkers, I have chauffeur duty," Barb Foss said.
But on the way home from a volleyball game, it was her daughter Abby who had to grab the wheel.
"I was confused, I was really confused," Abby Foss recalled.
She described her mother driving erratically. She said, "She was kind of steering into the ditch, so I was like 'oh I probably have to steer now', so I started steering, it was really scary."
Abby called 9-1-1 and dispatcher Sydney Weniger answered.
"I was just trying to think alright if they were to go in a ditch or hit another car at this speed, like, who is it going to be, who are we going to page out to help," Weniger said.
They were going at a highway speed in the dark. Knowing the urgency of the situation, Weniger coached Abby Foss to turn on the flashers and put the truck into neutral, so they could slow down.
"She told me to just stay calm," Abby Foss said.
After safely stopping, medics found Barb Foss's blood sugar had dropped to 41, which is considered dangerously low. Weniger said the way her daughter handled the situation likely saved their lives.
"She was so calm. I've never had anyone that calm and that's why I thought there was something we had to do, give her an award," Weniger said.
The Hubbard County Sheriff's Office gave her an award for bravery. It was also a chance for her to meet the dispatcher that helped guide them to safety.
"She is very brave, that was a very smart thing to do," Barb Foss said.
Abby Foss doesn't know if she'll pursue a career in law enforcement, but if she wants to, Hubbard County says she can come back for a ride-along anytime.
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