July 5, 2013

8-year-old boy hero.

His father was trapped in their car that had "crashed through a guardrail and landed upside down on a sandbar in the middle of a river":
But his son, 8-year-old Joshua [Garcia], wriggled out the wreckage, waded through the rushing water, scaled an embankment, then walked more than half a mile home to alert his mother, who called 911.
I find this touching and inspiring, but on reflection, since the man and the boy were not in immediate danger, I think that perhaps staying together on the sandbar and yelling and waiting for help would have been better than what the boy did.

42 comments:

Mel said...

If you are 8 in that situation, do you know you aren't in immediate danger?

I'm not sure I would. And around here the last few days, I'm not sure he wouldn't have been. We've had 4 straight days of rain and are under a flash flood warning today...

traditionalguy said...

The kid was right. He understands the power of a support system.

MathMom said...

Crikey. He is EIGHT YEARS OLD! He didn't dissolve in tears, didn't freak out and make it worse. He forded the river, walked half a mile and got help.

Kid kept his wits, even after being dumped in the drink, UPSIDE DOWN, and got help. I hope other 8-year-olds learn from this.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

To your point Althouse, the first passing driver would probably have seen the freshly-crashed-through guardrail and called 911. Yelling would probably not even have been necessary.

But I am glad that the kid took initiative and ACTED. So many kids today sit there passively waiting for someone to tell them what to do or solve their problems for you. It worries me sick for the future.

Mitchell the Bat said...

It's a proven scientific fact that a mother can lift an automobile to free her pinned child so keep that in mind.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

*for them

rhhardin said...

If he'd had a gun, he could have fired off three shots to summon help, like it says in the Boy Scout manual.

betamax3000 said...

No Ted Kennedy, this Child.

harrogate said...

Small miracles like this are all around us. Makes me want to go watch "Magnolia" again.

Mark O said...

Seriously? Another endorsement for "shelter in place?"

Larry J said...

The report said the accident happened at about 3 AM. There probably weren't too many people around to hear screams at that time, especially seeing as how the kid had to walk 1/2 mile to get help. He sounds like a really good boy who'll probably be a good man one day.

Bob said...

Its always easy and the right course is self-evident when you're up in the cheap seats. Different thing entirely when you're dazed (as you've just crashed thru a guardrail), scared, wet, cold, and Dad is trapped. Kudos to him for doing positive actions which helped resolve the situation.

tim said...

I am with you Mark. What a nation we have become.

edutcher said...

A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do.

In the dark, scared, nearly drowned, and concerned for his Dad, he did just fine.

ricpic said...

Young MEN - and this 8 year old is that - don't do passive.

elkh1 said...

How would they know the father was not in "immediate danger"? What is the point of both staying and yelling for help when the son knows what he is doing?

The question is: where is their cell phone? No cell signals?

Everyone should hold onto a cheap pre-paid phone in case of emergency.

Gahrie said...

I think that perhaps staying together on the sandbar and yelling and waiting for help would have been better than what the boy did.

Which is yet more evidence that men and women are different.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Definitely he should have stayed there!! There was no potential for non-visible, potential life-threatening injuries to the father, so there wasn't any need to try to get help ASAP. And at 3 AM, it's pretty much a guarantee that someone who can help will be past within 30 minutes, AND be able to hear them shouting from the river bed.

elkh1 said...

rhhardin said...
"If he'd had a gun, he could have fired off three shots to summon help, like it says in the Boy Scout manual."

If he'd fired off three shots, they would be swarmed by the local police, the ATF, the FBI for illegal firearms discharge. They would secure the perimeter, they would send for the Fire Dept. to un-upend the car, they would frisk the father, read him his Miranda rights and escort him to the hospital. The boy would be charged with "underage firing of a weapon", the parents would be charged with possession of a dangerous weapon and child endangerment for keeping a weapon where a child could reach. Child Services would swoop in and send the boy to a foster home. He will spend years in different homes until he joins a gang or turns 18.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

To your point Althouse, the first passing driver would probably have seen the freshly-crashed-through guardrail and called 911

Depends. There is not enough information to say that this is the case.

If the crash happened in a rural area, like the one that I live in, there may not be any passing drivers for hours upon hours. They don't say if the crash was on a busy highway or some back roads rural route.

At 3AM I can guarantee you that there would be ZERO passing drivers in a rural area and at night not likely to notice that a car had gone off of the road. We had an unfortunate elderly man who had skidded over a very steep embankment in the winter on black ice. No guard rails. He was not found for several days. Dead.

Baron Zemo said...

Maybe the kid could be arrested for not waiting for the government to come take over the situation.

Then some lawyer could sue if they drowned.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

DBQ, yes of course you are right. Teach me not to read the linked article. I did not realize it was at 3 am. Just sitting there or yelling for help in the middle of the night (the kid might have been aware enough to realize that many people will ignore something like that, not wanting to get involved in what might be some kind of nefarious business) makes even less sense then.

Baron Zemo said...

Don't you understand that we have to continue the femininization of the culture.

The kid should have stood on the roof of the car and held his dress up and yelled EEK at the top his lungs like he saw a mouse or something.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

These are racist cops picking on Hispanic folks by taking away their children for fun.

Capt. Schmoe said...

I find your opinion touching and inspiring, but on reflection, knowing that you had the luxury of time and comfort while pondering the scenario and the boy did not, I think that perhaps you are pretty much wrong.

Standing around yelling on the sandbar depends on someone being around to hear it. The time when the accident occurred reduces that chance. People tend to drive with the windows up and the radio and AC on, further reducing the chances of hearing a kid yelling for help.

The kid's choice to go where he knew there was help was the right one.

There are those who stew and fret and there are those who act. The kid appears to be one who acts.

Strelnikov said...

Hey, that's some very insightful second guessing of a child's actions in an emergency.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Having a car go off the road is one of my fears when I am traveling alone. The likelihood of being found at all....is very slim.

As already known, we live in a rural, mountainous area. Even the main highway is rather lightly traveled. It would be easy to lose control, skid off on ice, perhaps trying to avoid hitting a deer or bear, have a tire blow out and send you over a cliff into the river hundreds of feet below flying over the tree tops. You could go off of the road and NO ONE would see it and NO ONE would even suspect.

Cell phone. Don't make me laugh. I have one. 80% to 90% of the time we have no cell phone coverage, again, due to the terrain.

I always let someone know my itinerary: the roads that I am taking, the time I leave and the time I am expected to be back. My husband if he is not traveling with me or if we are traveling together we let a good friend know this information. That way if I or we get into trouble or even just have a vehicle breakdown, it will be hours instead of DAYS before someone back tracks and looks for us.

Don't assume that everyone is like you (the general you...not anyone in particular) or lives in areas like you where there is quick access to communication or help.

bagoh20 said...

Unsurprisingly, Althouse chooses an unproven strategy hope over one of proven action and success. Ahh, just like old times.

Austin G. Hart said...

"However, after Joshua and his father were treated at the Health Alliance hospital in Leominster, Massachusetts, the Department of Children and Family Services removed Joshua from his parents' custody.

The Department of Children and Family Services claims that it has to investigate the family, the crash and why father and son were driving in the middle of the night, which is lawful in Massachusetts."

http://www.opposingviews.com/i/society/transportation/cars/joshua-garcia-8-saves-dad-after-car-crash-taken-family-state-video

Gahrie said...

"However, after Joshua and his father were treated at the Health Alliance hospital in Leominster, Massachusetts, the Department of Children and Family Services removed Joshua from his parents' custody.

God Damn it.

Are we really going to have to start hauling their asses out from behind their desks and tar and feather them?

What asshole makes this decision? Or allows someone else to make it?

Kohath said...

This just proves that, no matter who you are, and no matter how well you solve a problem, there will always be someone who wasn't there and who didn't help you to second-guess your actions.

Very often, this person second-guessing you will be a privileged white person, a woman, or a lawyer -- especially if they advocate waiting for an authority figure to come to your rescue instead of solving the problem yourself.

- White people sometimes think they know _a lot_ and their opinion _matters_ in a profound way. Even though I am a white person, I am not sure why white people tend to be so self-involved.
- Women sometimes think of problems in terms of being rescued rather than solving the problems themselves.
- Lawyers are sure that no one who isn't certified by a governing authority to perform a specific task
should ever even attempt it. This idea is fundamental to lawyers and central to the way lawyers are paid. Without this idea, people would start solving their own problems, without needing to pay for a lawyer.

Kohath said...

"... the first passing driver would probably have seen the freshly-crashed-through guardrail ..."

How does a "freshly-crashed-through guardrail" look different from a guardrail that was crashed through 3 weeks ago -- especially at night, while driving past at regular driving speed?

Ann Althouse said...

You want your 8-year-old waiting on the sandbar with his dad at 3 a.m. or fording a stream, climbing an embankment and walking by the road for half a mile?

I admire the boy for his courage and initiative but I'd prefer to have him wait on the sandbar.

Baron Zemo said...

It amazes me how kids are infants until they are 30 years old today. I remember I was riding the subway by myself when I was a 12 year old. Crossing the street to go to the store when I was six. Nowadays you would get arrested.

Of course if you want to raise a beta male the best thing to do is stop him from doing something heroic or manly.

Let's make everybody Robert Wright.

MathMom said...

You want your 8-year-old waiting on the sandbar with his dad at 3 a.m. or fording a stream, climbing an embankment and walking by the road for half a mile?

I suppose in a perfect world, I'd want the 8-year-old and Dad home in bed at 3 am (separate beds).

But...if they wind up upside down on a sandbar in a river, I'd want anyone who was still conscious and able to get help, to go do that. And if that person was my 8-year-old son, I would be proud beyond words that he had the presence of mind, bravery, and will, to do such an heroic act.

Baron Zemo said...

When this kid acted like a man he shakes up the feminist ideal. He shouldn't act like a boy. He definitely shouldn't act like a man.
He should sit on the sandbar and cower and cry. Maybe pee himself a little.

Baron Zemo said...

That's what the social workers, nanny state pussies and feminists demand.


carlbridges said...

Sorry, Althouse, you missed this one. Most of us with kids or grandkids that age can feel nothing but admiration for the boy. Resourceful and resolute--that's the kind of children we try to raise.

Check out Lenore Skenazy's freerangekids.com.

Gahrie said...

I admire the boy for his courage and initiative but I'd prefer to have him wait on the sandbar.

Just like the government wants you to, Julia.

MathMom said...

I have been thinking more about this 8-year-old. Most likely, his testicles have not even descended yet, and won't for 3-4 years.

When they do, they will clang when he walks.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Lots of passing motorists to hail in Fitchburg, Massachusetts at 3am.

The Boston Globe reports "the car left the road at such speed that it flew some 30 feet off the embankment, somehow coming to rest on a sandbar on the far side of the river."

The Boston Herald reports the kid "ran more than a mile" to get help. And that "the Fitchburg Police Department expects to bring charges."

So factor that into whether the boy should have stayed with Dad or ran home to Mom.

kentuckyliz said...

This 8 year old boy does not have the same information and life experience to problem solve the same way as a near-retirement-age highly educated professional woman. He did a good job in figuring out some course of action that ultimately worked. The true test in life is can you produce results?!