OGDEN VALLEY, Utah (ABC4) – A young teen’s quick actions saved his and his father’s lives on Saturday night, Oct. 15, effectively preventing a tragedy with unimaginable casualties.
Randon Byrne, 36, was driving his truck on Ogden Canyon Road with his son Jaxson, 12, in the passenger seat when he suffered an epileptic seizure, according to the Byrne family, who spoke with ABC4 on Tuesday. Randon said he has suffered from the condition since his youth.
“We were driving down the mountain from deer hunting,” Jaxson said. “I was in the [truck] talking to my dad, and he just started seizing out.”
Once Jaxson realized what was going on, he reacted quickly. He unbuckled his own seatbelt and tried to remove his father’s foot from the gas pedal.
As the truck continued to speed down the road, the boy said he was able to steer the vehicle away from plummeting into the Pineview Reservoir. The truck then hit a woman’s car, causing the airbags to deploy and hitting Jaxson in the head.
Despite this, Jaxson said he successfully maneuvered the truck in between two other cars. Although he did not find the brake, the boy managed to get his father’s foot off the gas pedal and stop the truck on the side of the road.
The woman who the truck hit called 911 while Jaxson called his mother, Delmarie Figueroa, to inform her of the incident. Jaxson’s grandfather, who lived nearby, drove them to a local hospital after paramedics patched them up.
Jaxson’s family members praised him for how calm he remained during the whole incident. Figueroa said she does not think her 12-year-old son realizes how well he handled that situation.
“I’m honestly very, very proud of him,” she said. “Some people just freeze, but he stepped into action, and had he not [done so], they wouldn’t be here.”
The boy sustained a broken elbow and concussion while his father tore a ligament in his right thumb. No other injuries have been reported.
“When [Jaxson] saw me at the hospital, he just started crying,” Figueroa said. “It was really emotional, and I was just thankful that he was alive.”
Jaxson told ABC4 that he was not thinking much when the truck went out of control, he merely reacted. He said he was more worried about his father than anything else.
“I’ve never seen him have seizures like that,” Jaxson said.
Randon said he does not remember the entirety of the incident, and all he could recall was driving from the gas station and then regaining consciousness by the side of the road. He added that, after undergoing brain surgery in 2017, his seizures have only occurred at night and have usually been minor in scale.
“I’m doing okay,” he said. “Thanks to my son.”
For now, Randon wants to focus on healing from the trauma he and his son had just experienced.
“I just want to make sure everybody’s okay,” he said. “I’m just glad my son was with me.”