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Legacy student recognized for heroic actions

On Nov. 8, Legacy Elementary junior kindergarten teacher Brittney Nelson was traveling with her two children home from a late meeting in Sioux Falls.

At about 5:30 p.m. she traveled through the intersection of Minnesota Avenue and 69th Street. Shortly after getting through the intersection, she had a seizure. She has epilepsy, but hasn’t had a seizure in almost 10 years.

“It was a busy intersection at 5:30 so thankful we got through that,” she said.

Her 8-year-old son, Brecken, who is a second-grader at Legacy, noticed that his mom’s arms had dropped and the car had started to drift to the other side of the road.

“My mom was on one side of the road then the car just started slowly drifting to the other side. So then I came up and grabbed the wheel and turned into the cement by the turning lane. Then a car came over and stopped the car,” he said.

While Brecken was scared, he remained calm while he unbuckled from the back seat of the car and steered the car to the side of the road. Another driver gave him their phone and called his dad. Another bystander called 911.

Brittney said that Brecken is always looking out for someone. He is the one who will be there.

“He makes sure that he follows the rules and that he’s just worried about everyone. He wants everything to go correctly and for him to just make that very quick decision, that unbuckling and grabbing the wheel was better than just staying buckled and letting things happen, pretty incredible,” she said.

The Sioux Falls Police Department thought Brecken’s actions were pretty incredible too. They presented the department’s Outstanding Citizen Award to Brecken a surprise ceremony at Legacy Elementary Dec. 21.

“It’s not just one they hand out. It goes to a committee,” Brittney said.

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