On February 14, nine-year-old Ethan Clarke had just finished basketball practice when his grandmother Cheri drove into the school parking lot to pick him up. What happened after Ethan hopped into the car and fastened his seatbelt was completely unexpected and earned Ethan the title of Honorary First Responder.
While still in the parking lot after picking up Ethan, Cheri placed her vehicle into park – at least she thought she had – so she could exit the car and secure the rear hatch. However, Cheri had actually placed the vehicle in reverse. As Cheri stepped out, the car lurched backwards and the driver’s door closed, catching Cheri’s foot in the process. Cheri was on the ground, trapped and was being dragged by the rolling vehicle. She called out for help.
Ethan sprang into action. He unbuckled his seat belt and jumped into the driver’s seat, hitting the brakes and shifting the car into park. Onlookers called 9-1-1 as they, and then Ethan, turned to care for Cheri.
As Battle Ground police and Fire District 3 fire/EMS personnel arrived to attend to Cheri, they applauded Ethan for his quick actions that saved his grandmother from more serious injury. Cheri suffered only minor injuries and no one else was hurt.
Last week, Police Chief Bob Richardson recognized Ethan’s efforts and heroic actions by presenting him with the Battle Ground Police Department’s Certificate of Recognition and the title of Honorary First Responder.
“This is a reminder to all of us,” said Police Chief Bob Richardson, “that no matter our size or our age, we can be called upon in a moment’s notice to perform heroic actions. Thank you Ethan, and congratulations!”