Boy, 9, being called a hero after helping save his family following crash

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COLUMBUS – A 9-year-old Columbus boy is being praised as a hero after he helped pull his younger siblings and grandmother out of an overturned SUV.

The weather was pleasant for a change on Feb. 22 and that’s why Brenda Russell decided she would take her four grandchildren to see a movie.

She already had three in her Chevy Blazer and was on her way to pick up the fourth when she got into an accident. Russell said she was on State Road 11 near the Bartholomew County Fairgrounds when a red car crossed into her lane. She tried to swerve out of the way, but she said the car hit the driver’s side of her SUV.

“I remember us spinning. I remember dirt and glass. And I was praying ‘God, please save my grandbabies,’” she recalled.

She thinks she was knocked out as her SUV rolled into a ditch and landed upside down. When she woke up, she looked for her 9-year-old grandson Joseph who was sitting in the passenger seat. He wasn’t there, and she feared he had been thrown out of the vehicle.

“I’m like, ‘Joseph where are you?’ I’m screaming his name,” she told FOX59.

She soon realized Joseph was already out of the SUV and was pulling his 5-year-old siblings Braden and Brooklyn out. Joseph caught Braden in his arms and handed him over to a nearby resident who ran over to help. Brooklyn somehow slipped from his arms, but she only suffered a minor cut to her head.

“He already had them out when I realized that’s what he was doing,” she said. “He held them and said ‘They’re okay, it’s going to be okay, we’re okay.’”

Joseph said he was scared, but he didn’t think before he took action.

“I just pulled myself to the seat and undid (the seatbelt) and I fell,” he explained. He added that he hurt his knees when he fell, but he focused on making sure everyone else was okay first.

“I just think for his age, I mean it’s just a miracle. You know 9 years old and he thought about doing all of that,” Russell said proudly as she looked at her grandson.

Joseph’s parents immediately came to the accident scene and his father found Russell’s guardian angel pin on the ground a few feet away from the SUV. Like the children, it didn’t have a scratch on it.

Russell complained of neck pain, but no one suffered any serious injuries. She believes that she not only had a guardian angel watching over her family that day, but a little hero sitting right beside her.

“I know God brought us through that and there’s a reason.”