NORTH RICHLAND HILLS (CBSDFW.COM) – The quick action of a Bedford mother helped save the life of an 11-year-old boy and Tuesday she was honored by professional rescuers.
It was a cold January evening when Stephanie Hines spotted an autistic boy walking toward busy lanes of traffic on Loop 820 in North Richland Hills.
When Hines saw the boy, barefoot and dressed only in shorts, she called 911 and jumped from her car.
Hines sounded almost frantic on the phone as she chased the boy down. “Oh my God,” she said to the dispatcher. “There’s a little boy trying to cross the freeway right here.”
During part of the emergency phone call Hines said, “I can’t get his attention!” That’s when she learned the boy had special needs. The dispatcher told her calmly, “I know. He’s an autistic child okay?”
The Tarrant County 911 District honored Hines with a Citizen in Action Award. The North Texas mother said her actions were instinct.
“It’s what I was supposed to do. It’s my ‘mom mode,’” she said. “You know, if it was my kid out there I would expect somebody else to do the same thing.”
Hines recalled the last moments before she reached the boy.
“He was actually on the highway. By the time I got over the concrete barrier he had crossed over the onramp and was standing on the apex area. He was holding on to one of the construction signs.”
Tarrant County 911 Dispatcher A. J. Meyer, the one who stayed on the phone with Hines as she tried to reach the child, presented the heroic mother with a trophy.
The autistic boy, who doesn’t speak, was staying with his family at an area motel when he wandered away. He was not injured.
During the ceremony emergency response administrators reminded that April is National 911 Education Month. They noted that being informed before an emergency can make a big difference when calling 911.
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