A Spokane child, on the road with his dad in Oregon, may have helped save his father's life with an emergency call over the weekend.
Oregon State Police say 5-year old Dax was driving with his dad early Sunday morning. Dax's dad, 46-year old Robert Paget, apparently suffered a stroke near the town of Hermiston, Oregon. Dax was able to unlock his dad's phone and call his mother, Rachael Bardwell, in Spokane.
"Luckily, Dax was able to call me and I was able to use Spokane 911 to contact Oregon State Police dispatch," said Bardwell.
The challenge, though, was finding the car. OSP Southern Command Center Dispatcher Heather Whitaker was able to provide updated information to Trooper John Lombardi and Trooper Joseph Dezso. They were able to ask Dax questions and get a description of the area surrounding the car. According to OSP, "one of the most important details was provided when the boy said a train was passing by the car." That allowed troopers to deduce the car was on Interstate 84 west of Interstate 82, where they knew tracks paralleled freeway lanes.
Troopers finally found the car near milepost 177. When they arrived, Paget was having difficulty speaking and was unable to move the right side of his body. He was also starting to lose consciousness. He was transported to the hospital in Richland, where he is in critical condition but is expected to survive.
Troopers say Dax's role was critical in finding his dad.
"He is a very bright young man and definitely saved his dad's life," said Trooper Dezso. "We are so glad to hear his father should pull through.
Dax's mom says her son wants to be a police officer someday. She says he enjoyed the time he spent with troopers who came to help. She says she recently taught Dax how to unlock the screen on the phone and call for help; she urges other parents to do the same.