While driving home from a movie with his family, one Indiana father accidentally clipped a drainage ditch, which caused the car to flip and roll over six times.
When the car finally came to a stop on its roof, the driver, Jeff Lakey, managed to pry himself out and then pulled his 9-year-old daughter, Melina, out of the backseat. However, as he was carrying her away from the car, Melina realized her mom was trapped in the passenger seat and ran back to save her.
“When the airbags deploy you can’t see any of the doors, so she lifted them up so I could find my way out,” mom Ashley McCollum-Lakey said. “She said, ‘Mommy I’m right here. Come to me.’” Miraculously, Melina lifted the airbags on her own and guided her mom out.
“She lifted up five impact airbags to get me out, through glass and debris,” Ashley explained. Melina, who was just eight years old at the time of the accident, then called 911 on her parent’s phone, which she was taught to do at a Girl Scouts trip to a local fire department.
“They said that if you’re ever in a big accident, always call 911. Even though you think [an accident] is not going to happen to you, it still will. They taught me everything I needed,” Melina said. “Melina didn’t think twice,” Ashley said. “She knew there was glass and debris and she just wanted to make sure that she knew mommy and daddy were OK.”
Now, Melina is being honored by the Girl Scouts of the USA for her bravery. “Your extraordinary courage, incredible confidence, and your willingness to take decisive action in the midst of an emergency has not only saved a life, but also serves as a shining example for Girl Scouts everywhere of fortitude and dedication,” Girl Scouts of the USA CEO Sylvia Acevedo wrote in a letter to Melina. “Your heroism and sound judgment have earned you a place in the pantheon of heroes who have come before you, and left an indelible mark on the Girl Scouts.”
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[Featured image: Girl Scouts of Central Indiana]