A quick-thinking teenager has been honoured for his life-saving intervention when his mother was taken ill at the wheel of her car as it hurtled down the motorway at 50mph.
Jack Powell managed to guide the Land Rover across two lanes and stop on the hard shoulder of the M5. His mother Wendy had suffered an epileptic seizure as she drove the pair back from a day out. Last night Jack, who is from Cheslyn Hay and was 13 when the drama unfolded, became the first ever Staffordshire scout to be awarded the organisation’s Silver Cross.
The Cheslyn Hay High School pupil picked up his surprise reward from scout county commissioner Paula Evans at a packed Cheslyn Hay Community & Sports Club last night.
“This is a total surprise,” Jack, who is now 14, said afterwards, before recalling the day in October last year when disaster almost struck.
“We were coming back from Witley Court and were going by the Banks’s Stadium where the M5 meets the M6.
“We started to move over into the next lane and we were turning a bit sharp, I looked at mum and she had fainted and her head was resting on the arm of the chair.
“I took hold of the wheel and steered it across from the outside lane into the hard shoulder, then into the concrete barrier.
“We came to a stop and another driver stopped and called an ambulance.”
“I was scared when I realised mum had collapsed,” Jack added. “It must have been about 10 seconds between then and when we came to a stop.”
Mrs Powell, a director at Accord Housing, said: “We might not both have been here if it wasn’t for him.
“I am so proud of him,” the 52-year-old said.