When six-year-old Jane Deelstra’s grandmother had a medical episode while driving, what happened next caught the attention of Kamloops police.
Kamloops RCMP Superintendent Syd Lecky today (Feb. 22, 2022) presented her with a Certificate of Appreciation in recognition of the bravery she showed after her grandmother’s vehicle crashed near Dallas Drive on Saturday afternoon.
Just before 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jane’s grandmother was travelling westbound on the East Trans Canada Highway when she pulled off at the Kokanee Way exit and had a medical episode, causing her to crash into trees, totalling the vehicle.
“Her windshield was smashed and her eyes were open,” said Jane. “I was yelling to her and she wasn’t answering. I was smacking her super hard and she wasn’t answering.”
Instead of panicking, she undid her own seatbelt, opened the door on the tilted car, looked both ways and crossed two roads to get to the nearest business, the Flying J gas station.
“I said my grandma crashed in her car and it dug into the dirt,” she said.
The gas station employee called 911 and Jane stayed on the line with dispatch until police and ambulance arrived. Her grandma was quickly located and taken to hospital with Jane at her side; she is now back home recovering.
Not only were Jane’s actions noted by the responding officers, but also by Supt. Lecky, who requested a special meeting with her and her mother, Macalan Jolicoeur.
“I heard the story and thought that was one of the most heroic things I have heard,” said Supt. Lecky to in presenting Jane with a Kamloops RCMP Certificate of Appreciation.
“The bravery that you showed for your grandma I thought needed a very special recognition…. I hope that you’re able to tell your friends and be proud of it.”
Jane’s family, including her grandma, is extremely proud of her.
“She was really brave,” said Jane’s mother, Ms. Jolicoeur. “Most people would panic and stay there. All she said was she knew she had to save grandma.”
She said her daughter has bounced back quickly – even her bruised elbow is feeling much better.
And while for now Jane is still busy having fun by jumping on trampolines and doing cartwheels, she already knows what she’d like to do when she grows up.
“I would like to be a cop and help save people,” she said.