When Brandie Weiler, a mother of two, pulled to the side of the road to help the victims of a car crash, she never expected her 12-yr-old daughter Maddie would be the real hero of the day.
Brandie approached the two vehicles to make sure everyone was ok when the man that caused the crash, Paul Salsman, made a move towards Maddie’s van with her two daughters still inside. “I could see him going toward the van, and I’m screaming,” Brandie said.
Salsman walked up to the van, unlocked the door through an open window and climbed on in. That was when Brandie’s 12-yr-old daughter Maddie decided that enough was enough. Maddie reached over and put the car in drive, disabling the starter. In the seconds that followed, she did the only thing she could, Maddie fought like her life depended on it.
In a furious flurry of fists and kicks, the preteen literally fought off the full grown man who was under the influence of alcohol and drugs. “I just went for it,” the 12-year-old said. “Nothing passed my mind except, ‘He is a psycho and he needs to get out of the car’.”
Maddie was so busy beating up the man that she didn’t notice her little sister Mollie had already escaped the vehicle.
“Once I saw Mollie out [of the car], I yelled for Maddie to get out,” Brandie said. “She was too busy beating the guy to realize that her sister was out.”
Maddie’s father, Steven, said his daughter’s quick thinking prevented her from becoming a statistic. “She has always been told if anyone tries to take you – kick, scream, bite, hit, gouge out their eyes, whatever you have to do.”
Maddie, who loves riding horses, had quite the quip for her mom when asked if she was scared during the encounter, “Mama, if I can control a 1,500-pound animal, then I was sure going to try to take care of him.”
She surely did that.
Salsman was arrested and charged with three counts of felony carjacking, felony hit and run, and driving under the influence. He won’t be behind the wheel of another car for a very long time.
As for Maddie, she’s a little worse for the wear, but wouldn’t change her decision for anything. A fractured growth plate in her wrist is quite the compromise when you consider the alternative.
Thank goodness these girls and their mama are safe. Luckily for Maddie, her quick thinking and bravery saved the day.
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