STANFIELD, Ore. -- A 5-year-old Spokane boy is credited with saving his father's life after he had a stroke, by leading police to their vehicle on the side of Interstate 84.
A woman in Spokane County called 911 just after 7 a.m. Sunday to report that her son called from his father's cell phone to say his dad was having a medical emergency, possibly somewhere in Oregon.
"During the next few minutes, Spokane 911 worked through the father's cellular phone company to determine the phone's signal pinged on a cellular tower near Stanfield, Oregon," said Oregon State Police Lt. Gregg Hastings.
Police began searching the area for the vehicle. Trooper Joseph Dezso called the man's cell phone and asked the boy if he could describe what he was seeing outside the vehicle.
"One of the most important details was provided when the boy said a train was passing by the car," Hastings said. "This detail helped the troopers move toward Interstate 84 west of Interstate 82 where they knew train tracks paralleled the freeway lanes."
When troopers found the car, the boy's father, Robert Paget, was unable to move one side of his body and was losing consciousness. He was taken by ambulance to Good Shepherd Medical Center and later transferred to Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland, Washington, where he was in critical condition, but expected to survive.
Family members said Paget was showing improvement. Trooper Dezso said Paget's son, Dax, deserves all the credit.
"He is a very bright young man and definitely saved his dad's life. We are so glad to hear his father should pull through," said Dezso.
Dax's mother, Rachael Bardwell, said she had recently taught him how to unlock the cell phone screen and call his mom or dad in an emergency.
"Luckily, Dax was able to call me and I was able to use Spokane 911 to contact Oregon State Police dispatch to help find my son, his father, and the vehicle they were in," Bardwell said.
She added that Dax wants to be a police officer one day.