‘Grand Theft Auto’ skills help 11-year-old save grandfather’s life

Nadine Kalinauskas
Good News
‘Grand Theft Auto’ skills help 11-year-old save grandfather’s life

Pundits often suggest that violent video games lead to incidents of deadly violence.

But is it possible for video games to actually save lives? One Irish boy seems to think so.

Early last month, Charley Cullen, 11, was being driven home from drama class by his 79-year-old grandfather, Finn Cullen, when Finn blacked out behind the wheel, his foot still heavy on the gas.

Charley, who had no driving experience outside of playing video games, quickly grabbed the wheel and steered them away from a busy main road.

"The only way I had any experience was the Grand Theft Auto game," he told Brenda Donohue on RTE Radio One's Mooney Show.

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"My main thing wasn’t worrying about the car or that — the main thing was to wake papa up. I had a bit of adrenaline running through my body when I grabbed the steering wheel."

"Coming near Slane Castle I went to turn left to go to Slane Village because if I went right there’s a big drop beside Slane Castle and a river flowing through it and I don’t think I would have got out of that," he continued. "I turned for Slane and we amazingly got across the main road with no cars coming."

Soon after, the car crashed against the gates of the castle and flipped over. Both grandfather and grandson were able to walk away from the crash, although Charley did fracture his skull during the incident.

"Most of the impact was on his side of the car when it hit the ditch. The car was completely written off," Finn told the Independent.

"I only live about 200 yards from where the accident happened so I put my arms over him and we managed to get up to the house."

"Papa was bleeding a lot – we got to the house and my Nanna didn’t know anything about what was happening," Charley said. "I opened the door and I can remember the scream in the back of my head."

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Finn still doesn't know what caused him to black out and believes it's a "miracle" that no one was killed in the accident. He credits his grandson with saving his life.

To honour the young hero, FAI (Football Association of Ireland) boss John Delaney offered Ireland tickets to Charley and his family.

"It's such a wonderful story – we want to invite Charley, his grandad and members of the family to watch Ireland at a game of his choice," Delaney told the Irish Mirror.

Charley, a huge soccer fan, will watch the national squad take on England next June.

"You don’t know how much this means to me – it means the world," he said.

Charley isn't the first youngster to apply video-game skills to a real-world emergency situation.

Last summer, a 10-year-old Colorado boy credited his ability to drive his family to safety to hours of playing Mario Kart. He was awarded a medal for his bravery.

(Photo courtesy IB Times)