On Thursday May 15, Riverton Elementary held an assembly to honor second grader Abby Porter and Officer Jimmy Hamilton of the Galena Police Department for their masterful handling of a dangerous situation. Abby was riding in the car when her mother, Shelly Porter, passed out at the wheel. Though somewhat panicked, Abby grabbed the steering wheel from the passenger seat and managed to keep the car on the road. Officer Jimmy Hamilton came upon the slow-moving vehicle on Highway 66 and realized that the driver was unconscious.
He pulled up beside the car and noticed that a young girl was steering the car. He asked her if she knew how to put the car in park, but she did not. Time was running out before both cars would be entering an intersection, so Officer Hamilton told Abby his next plan. He would pull in front of her mother’s car and use the bumper of his cruiser to stop the car. At first Abby did not want to attempt the maneuver, but Officer Hamilton assured her that she could do it, she would just need to keep the car behind his cruiser. Before the cars reached the intersection, they managed to bring the car safely to a stop.
After the situation was under control and her mother made it to the hospital, Abby was determined to make it to school. She couldn’t miss her spelling test.
Before the students of Riverton schools, Riverton Elementary Principal Keith Wilson presented Abby Porter a Ram Award for reacting to aid her mother, saving both of their lives. “You are a hero to us,” Wilson said.
He repeated that sentiment as he presented a Ram Award to Officer Jimmy Hamilton for aiding a motorist and earning the trust of an eight year old.
Mayor Oglesby and Chief Delmont also gave Abby and Officer Hamilton awards on behalf of the City of Galena and the Galena Police Department, and Deputy Shane Gibson presented the duo awards from the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department.
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