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Trucker’s Daughter Saves the Day

October 27, 1997

NEW ORLEANS (AP) _ A 17-year-old wrestled her father’s tractor-trailer off the shoulder of an interstate and back onto the road after he lost consciousness at the wheel.

While she couldn’t keep the truck upright, the teen-ager certainly prevented a multi-car accident Saturday on Interstate 10, State Trooper Staty Lewis Jr. said. The truck easily could have drifted onto a nearby service road or into heavy oncoming traffic, he said.

Jackie Jarman and her father, Michael Wayne Jarman, were injured in the accident. Jarman was treated for cuts and head injuries and was in stable condition Sunday. His daughter was treated and released.

``If she wouldn’t have been there, it would have been a mess,″ said Jarman, hospitalized at East Jefferson General Hospital, where doctors found a growth in his brain that may have caused the blackout.

The Jarmans were heading home to Glenmora when he slumped over in his seat.

``I was just driving along and talking to my daughter,″ Jarman said. ``She said I just went limp. I remember her yelling at me and I couldn’t move. I was trying so hard to move and I couldn’t.″

Miss Jarman grabbed the wheel as the truck veered onto the right shoulder, and got it back onto the road. But as she continued to fight for control, she cut the wheel too far to the right. The truck flipped onto its left side and slid several hundred feet into a metal guard rail.

Jarman said his daughter plans to drive her own truck one day.

``She’s my hero,″ he said.

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