Barton Seagrave teenager steers car to safety after grandad suffers heart attack while driving

Ben Coles being presented with the award.
Ben Coles being presented with the award.

A Barton Seagrave teenager who swerved a car away from pedestrians after the driver had a heart attack has won a prestigious award.

Ben Coles, 17, was in his grandad’s car on the way to college when his grandad suddenly went into cardiac arrest.

He realised his grandad had lost consciousness and grabbed the steering wheel to swerve the vehicle away from crowds of pedestrians.

The car came off the road between several trees and over a bank, coming to a halt against a wall.

The incident happened at about 8.30am, when lots of commuters and children were on the roads.

Thanks to Ben’s actions, his grandad survived the ordeal and no other road users or pedestrians were injured.

To commend his actions, Ben was awarded a Laverick Award, which was set up in memory of a Northamptonshire paramedic Nick Laverick who lost his battle with cancer in 2013.

It is presented to children and young adults who have committed a selfless and brave act for the benefit of others.

Ben’s grandad David Watters said: “We are very proud of Ben, it’s thanks to him and everyone involved on that fateful morning that I made a full recovery.

“We are delighted that he has be recognised for what was quite an ordeal.”

East Midlands Ambulance Service Anya Donald was first on the scene.

She said: “Ben was incredibly brave that morning.

“To have the ability to steer the vehicle away from others in both an upsetting and stressful situation undoubtedly not only saved both his and his grandad’s life but others as well.

“We hope Ben will cherish this award for a long time.

“He should be so proud of himself for his actions that day.”