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Saturday 23 August 2014

'Hero' Irish boy (11) credits Grand Theft Auto with saving grandfather's life

Denise Calnan

Published 19/05/2014 | 19:32

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An eleven-year-old boy has been hailed a hero by his family after he saved the life of his grandfather following a car crash.

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Charlie Cullen, from Slane, Co Meath, took over driving the car and carried his ‘Papa’ home after he suffered a black-out while driving at night.

The young boy has credited popular video game ‘Grand Theft Auto’ with his driving skills as he took over the wheel after his grandfather collapsed.

Grandfather Finn Cullen was dropping his grandson home from a drama rehearsal when he slumped against the wheel and lost control of the car.

Charlie said he first thought his grandfather was playing an April Fools’ joke on him before he grabbed the steering wheel and began to manoeuvre the car.

 “The car pulled into the ditch and I thought it was Aprils Fools’ joke because it was April Fools’,” Charlie said.

“So I brought the car back onto the road, I had one hand on the steering wheel and the other trying to wake Papa up. The main thing was to wake him up.

“I didn’t panic because I knew how to steer a bit from ‘Grand Theft Auto’.”

Charlie managed to steer the car, which had sped up to over 70km/hr after Finn’s foot fell onto the accelerator, for 500 yards before he tried to turn left and hit the wall of Slane Castle. The car turned in the air before landing on the opposite side of the road. Charlie escaped through the broken windscreen and rescued his grandfather from the driver’s door.

 “I can remember the car turning in the air and the lights on the wall of the castle, I can’t remember much else but I brought Papa up the road, his house was about 50 yards away,” Charlie told RTE Radio One’s Mooney show.

“I was linking him and holding him and he was bleeding a lot. My nana didn’t know what was going on and I can remember the scream in the back of my head.

“We couldn’t remember what happened us at the time but the ambulance was there in a flash.

Neither Charlie or ‘Papa’ Finn were seriously injured in the incident.

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