12-year-old boy stops car on Loop 410 after grandmother has seizure while driving

Cale Cavarra saw his grandmother Donna Williams start to have a seizure while driving last Saturday. That’s when he jumped into action.

SAN ANTONIO – Everything happened in an instant for 12-year-old Cale Cavarra.

“She just started shaking,” Cavarra said. “I grabbed the wheel first because I didn’t want us to hit another car or another car to hit us.”

Cavarra, his little brother and his grandmother, Donna Williams, were driving back from Three Rivers last Saturday along Loop 410 near Exit 44 when he said she started having a seizure behind the wheel.

“I was really scared,” Cavarra said. “I didn’t know what happened.”

Cavarra said his first instinct was to stop the car. He leaned over the center console of his grandma’s car and said he used his hands to stop the brakes. He then turned off the car and called 911.

“He was talking me through of like what to do and to check if she was still breathing and so I said back, ‘she’s still breathing,’” Cavarra said.

A spokesperson with the San Antonio Fire Department confirmed a call came in on Saturday, Aug. 12, around 3:30 p.m. from a 12-year-old boy who said his grandma was having a seizure.

Two people traveling along 410 stopped to help Cavarra until emergency crews arrived. Engine 20 then moved the family car from the highway to a nearby gas station, checking on Williams in the meantime.

SAFD said crews were with the family for about an hour.

“I thought I lost her when it happened on the road,” Cavarra said. “If I wasn’t with her, she probably wouldn’t be here anymore because of a crash.”

Williams said she has a history of seizures but hasn’t had one in nearly nine years.

“I can usually tell when I’m going to have one,” Williams said. “This time, there was just no warning at all. He did everything that could have and should have been done. He did very well and I’m very proud of him. I’m always proud of him.”

At only 12 years old, Cavarra said his hobby helped him save lives.

“Cars are my thing,” Cavarra said. “I’m just happy she’s still here.”

About the Authors

Avery Everett is a news reporter and multimedia journalist at KSAT 12 News. Avery is a Philadelphia native. If she’s not at the station, she’s either on a hiking or biking trail. A lover of charcuterie boards and chocolate chip cookies, Avery’s also looking forward to eating her way through San Antonio, one taco shop at a time!

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