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Twin boys, 11, safely steer SUV off highway as mom suffers seizure

Massillon police honor brothers for heroic acts
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Posted at 6:28 PM, Mar 07, 2023

MASSILLON, Ohio — There is often a special bond among twins, and that's certainly the case for 11-year-old twins, Jordan and Jermel Taylor, of Massillon.

That bond is even tighter after the brothers worked together to save their mother's life after she had a seizure while driving on a highway.

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11-year-old twins, Jordan and Jermel Taylor, of Massillon, were recognized for courageously steering the SUV they were in safely off the highway as their mom suffered a seizure.

"I feel proud of myself and my brother. I feel like we've got a good twin bond," Jermel said.

The frightening ordeal played out around 10:30 a.m. on Feb. 25 on state Route 21 near the Route 30 underpass.

Their mother, Crystal Thompson, who has epilepsy, had a seizure while driving the twins to their grandma's house.

Crystal doesn't recall everything that happened, but her boys have since described the details to her.

"I was driving. I started having a seizure and my hands fell off the wheel and I fell against the window," Thompson said.

Jordan, who was sitting in the backseat, instantly recognized what was happening.

"I told my brother, Jermel, I think she's about to have a seizure," Jordan explained.

At that point, the moving vehicle was on the Route 30 East on-ramp.

Acting on instinct, Jermel, who was in the front passenger seat, quickly grabbed the steering wheel.

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11-year-old twins, Jordan and Jermel Taylor, of Massillon, were recognized for courageously steering the SUV they were in safely off the highway as their mom suffered a seizure.

Jordan told Jermel to steer the SUV towards a field and Jermel safely guided the vehicle off the highway.

"I reached over and grabbed it and I turned it all the way to the grassy part and we were safe and everything," Jermel said.

The car came to a stop. Thompson's foot was at least partially on the brake, police said. Jordan turned off the ignition and called 911.

"I didn't know exactly where I was at because I was like so scared. I just told them that my mom had a seizure," Jordan said.

Thompson was taken to a hospital. She has undergone some testing and recently had an MRI. She continues to count her blessings for the quick thinking of her boys.

"I will say I'm very much thankful for my fiancé who taught them how to drive a tractor and my dad has taught them how to ride Go-Karts, so that's always a plus," she said.

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11-year-old twins, Jordan and Jermel Taylor, of Massillon, were recognized for courageously steering the SUV they were in safely off the highway as their mom suffered a seizure.

Massillon Sgt. Audrey Aiello, who arrived on the scene that day, was amazed by the bravery the twins exhibited. She believes the lives of other drivers could have been spared because of the actions taken by the sixth graders who take classes through Massillon Digital Academy.

"I have a 10-year-old who is almost 11 and I'm not sure what she would have done in this situation," Aiello said. "11-year-olds don't typically have that quick-witted response like normal adults would. I was very impressed. They were very calm. They were obviously very concerned for their mother."

Aiello wrote up a letter of commendation to recognize the boys, and on Monday, they were honored by police and Massillon Mayor Kathy Catazaro-Perry.

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11-year-old twins, Jordan and Jermel Taylor, of Massillon, were recognized for courageously steering the SUV they were in safely off the highway as their mom suffered a seizure.

"Their brave actions are honorable and we just want them to know that we appreciate everything that they have done for themselves, their mother and for the community," Aiello said.

The twins are a little overwhelmed by all the attention they are receiving and stressed they did what they needed to do to keep everyone protected.

"It was instinct. I never knew I could do that because I never drove a car before," Jermel said.

The boys said their mother is "the best mom ever" and they're grateful the powerful twin bond helped to keep her safe.

"All I remember is we always stick together," Jordan said.

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