RANDOLPH COUNTY, N.C. — Family and friends of a 5-year-old boy are calling him a hero after he yelled for help following a dangerous accident near Asheboro.
Landon Lataille-Roberts, 5, was riding with his mother, Star Lataille-Roberts, when she lost control of her Ford Windstar van on Pisgah Covered Bridge Road Wednesday around 12:30 p.m.
Troopers say the vehicle crashed through a road sign and went airborne over a creek. The van landed on the other side of the water on the driver’s side, pinning Ms. Roberts in the vehicle.
They say she was in and out of consciousness, but her son Landon managed to get out.
“She was rolling down the hill and flying over to the other side,”the little boy quietly explained to FOX8. “And the back was on the tree and the front was on the ground. And the only way to get out was the front.”
Landon remembers exactly what he did next. “At first I unbuckled. Then I went out the window and went on a little hill and called for help,” he described.
Fortunately, help was nearby.
Just up the road at Zooland Family Campground, Park Manager Diana Anderson was working the inside desk when she heard the crash. She decided to drive down the road, not seeing anything at first.
“I pulled over to the side and all I heard was the lady in the car screaming. I called 911.”
Diana spotted Landon climbing up the embankment; several campers went down into the woods to find the wreck and see who needed help.
On the 911 recordings, you can hear Diana talking to Landon and telling him to stay with her safely on the road.
Star Lataille-Roberts was airlifted to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Hospital where she has been in intensive care. Her mother and husband tell FOX8 she has several broken bones, broken ribs and a broken collar-bone. Nearly her entire body is bruised, they said, but they do expect her to recover.
Even more impressive is Landon was born without a hip bone which makes walking difficult sometimes without a walker or wheelchair. His disability seems to not have slowed him down Wednesday.
“The fact that he went through the wreck and his mom was there, but he wasn’t responsive. He took the initiative to get out and climb to the top of the hill in a place where he didn’t know where he was, didn’t know anybody or anything,” Landon’s Dad Ben Roberts said. “Just thinking back on everything that did happen… what could have happened. It just tears me up.”
“I couldn’t have a smarter grandson… he did wonders,” his grandmother said, also thankful to all of the campers who helped out.
“I already told him he was a hero, and I’m proud of him,” added Ben.
Diana Anderson called Landon a tough young man. “It’s just a miracle he didn’t get hurt,” she said. “I’m just glad we were there to help.”
Landon’s parents take him to Shriners Hosptial in South Carolina nearly every month for procedures and surgeries for his hip.
Friends of the Roberts tell FOX8 losing their van in this accident will make travel much more difficult.
Anyone who can help with travel or a vehicle can contact Carter.Coyle@wghp.com to get in touch with the family.