If you ever hear someone suggest that video games are bad for you, you might want to mention this little story. In 2013 a young boy’s skill playing “Mario Kart” helped save a Colorado family from disaster.
10 year old Gryffin Sanders, of Golden, Colorado was far too young to have a driving licence. In fact he wasn’t even tall enough to reach the pedals.
However, after his 74-year-old great-grandmother lost consciousness in the middle of a sentence while driving along a Colorado highway, Gryffin jumped to the wheel to save the day.
The 10-year-old boy took control of the Buick sedan that was careening at 60 mph towards oncoming traffic.
“My first thought was actually, is this a test or what?” Sanders told 9News. “My heart was thumping.”
Sitting in the front passenger seat, Sanders said he tried to wake his grandmother before taking the wheel. “I [wanted to] get us somewhere where we could get out of the way of traffic,” he said.
Gryffin’s quick thinking led him to steer the vehicle into the shallow ditch on the side of the road. His 4-year-old brother, who was playing iPad games on the back seat, was completely oblivious as to what was happening.
Gryffin told the Associated Press: “I could see over the dashboard while I was driving, so I had an idea of where I was driving into. I couldn’t get to the brakes because my grandma great was in the way.”
As the car rocked along the rougher terrain of the ditch, his great-grandmother’s foot dropped of the gas pedal bringing the car to a stop.
Hailed as a hero, young Gryffin was extremely modest in his account of the incident. He simply credited his skills to his love for the Mario Kart video game.
Gryffin’s father, Sean Sanders, said they escaped a possible collision or a roll-over. “There could’ve been, you know, a travesty of an injury or even possibly a fatality,” he said. “The good news is we will never have to know.”
Darlene Nestor, the boys’ great-grandmother, was air lifted to a Colorado Springs hospital where doctors say she might have had a mild heart attack.
In an odd twist, one of the first responders on the scene was Sanders’ cousin who is a sheriff deputy.
“I’m so proud of him that he saved so many lives that day even in oncoming traffic,” Nestor said, “he’s always been a great kid.”