A SHARP-EYED teenager who helped save the life of an elderly man who had gone missing from his home in Darlington has received a police commendation.
Laura Dean was presented with a chief constable’s commendation, from Durham Police chief Mike Barton, in recognition of hers and her family’s efforts, which led to a missing man being found.
The 83-year-old man had been reported missing by his carer on the morning of Sunday, September 30, after last being seen at his home in Darlington the previous day.
He was known to become easily confused and have no provisions for staying out overnight.
Thirteen-year-old Laura was in the back seat of her parents’ car, travelling along the Staindrop Road, when she thought she spotted something in a field through a gap in a hedge.
Her father, John, pulled over to check and found an elderly man lying on his back in a field, very cold and confused. The family gave first aid on the scene then rang for an ambulance and the police.
Laura, a student at Hummersknott Academy, said: “I saw a gap in the hedge and a man lying in a field. It took a few seconds for it to sink in, then I told my parents and persuaded them to turn back.
“I’m very relieved we found him when we did.”
Mr Barton said: “Without a shadow of doubt, Laura’s acute observation skills helped her family save this man’s life and I was delighted to present this commendation.”