13-year-old girl steers vehicle on highway during mom's medical emergency with help from dispatcher

ByKilat Fitzgerald and Ben Henry, KSTP
Wednesday, November 29, 2023
13-year-old girl steers vehicle during mom's medical emergency
Teen Abbey Foss steered a vehicle during her mother's medical emergency with help from a Hubbard County, MN 911 dispatcher.

HUBBARD COUNTY, Minn. -- A 13-year-old is being hailed as a hero after taking the wheel from her mom, after she became unresponsive while driving.

KSTP spoke to the family and the operator who took the 911 call.

Hubbard County, Minnesota dispatcher Sydney Weniger said it was one of the rarest 911 calls she'd ever taken.

Weniger answered when 13-year-old Abbey Foss called 911 after her mom became unresponsive while driving on Highway 200.

"My caller is gonna steer the vehicle for mom; she's still not responding to her," Weniger is heard saying on a recording of the call.

With first responders en route, Weniger told Foss what to do.

"Mom just slowed down to 37 miles per hour," Weniger said.

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While steering from the passenger seat, the 13-year-old put the car in neutral. Their truck eventually stopped.

"She was able to tell me where they were at, how fast they were going, what was going on with her mom at the time and still steer the vehicle," Weniger said. "So, it was it was amazing."

The heroic teen shared how she felt in those moments.

"It seemed like my mind was going like a million miles an hour," she said.

Mom, Barb, said despite not being diabetic, doctors said her blood sugar level was extremely low, leading to the incident behind the wheel.

"Could have driven into a tree, could have driven into another car," she said.

Now better, and watching her levels closely, the two can reflect and be thankful.

"It's just a wonderful example, too. I mean Abbey, Abbey's bravery. And then, I don't know if we got the right dispatcher, if all the dispatchers are that awesome, just the whole community and everybody came together and wonderful," Barb said.

Foss and her mother were able to meet Weniger after the incident.