When six-year-old Jane Deelstra’s grandmother had a medical episode while driving, what happened next caught the attention of Kamloops’s top cop.
On Monday (Feb. 22), Supt. Sydney Lecky presented Jane with a Kamloops RCMP Certificate of Appreciation in recognition of the bravery she displayed after her grandmother’s vehicle crashed near Dallas Drive on Saturday afternoon (Feb. 19).
Just before 3:30 p.m., Jane’s grandmother was travelling westbound on the Trans-Canada Highway when she pulled off at the Kokanee Way exit due to a medical episode, causing her to crash into trees, totalling the vehicle.
“Her windshield was smashed and her eyes were open,” Jane said of the crash. “I was yelling to her and she wasn’t answering. I was smacking her super hard and she wasn’t answering.”
Instead of panicking, Jane undid her own seatbelt, opened the door of the tilted car, looked both ways and crossed two roads to get to the nearest business.
“I said, ‘My grandma crashed in her car and it dug into the dirt,’” Jane recounted.
The store employee called 911 and Jane stayed on the line with dispatch until Mounties and paramedics arrived. Grandma was taken to hospital, with Jane at her side. Grandma is now back at home, recovering.
Const. Crystal Evelyn said not only were Jane’s actions noted by the responding officers, but also by Lecky, who requested a special meeting with Jane and her mother, Macalan Jolicoeur.
“I heard the story and thought that was one of the most heroic things I have heard,” Lecky said as he presented Jane with her 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.”
Needless to say, Jane’s family, including her grandma, is extremely proud of her.
“She was really brave,” her mom said. “Most people would panic and stay there. All she said was she knew she had to save grandma.”
Jolicoeur said her daughter has bounced back quickly from the ordeal, noting even her bruised elbow is feeling much better.
The heroic deed has Jane thinking about what she might want to be when she grows up.
“I would like to be a cop and help save people,” she said.