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Oxford 12-year-old hailed as hero after helping road worker hit by van



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    OXFORD, Michigan (WWJ) — A 12-year-old girl is being hailed as a hero after helping a flagger injured in a hit-and-run hit on Friday.

Police say the incident happened just after noon on Drahner Road, west of M-24 in Oxford Township, where a flagger was diverting traffic from a closed road due to a paving project.

But Craig Bryson, public information officer for the Oakland County Road Commission, says it was not long before things would take a dark turn.

“The driver started arguing with the flagger about whether or not he should be allowed to go down the road and the flagger said ‘You can’t go down this road.’ The driver became increasingly agitated yelling at the flagger and driving closer and closer to him and finally, he actually hit the flagger and speed off down the road,” Bryson says.

Thankfully, 12-year-old Emma Ortiz, who was on the way home from her last day of school after being picked up from her mother, Holly Ortiz, was filming the whole thing.

“When we were behind the van, it did not look like it was going to end well so I pulled out my phone and started recording,” Emma says.

Moments later, Emma says she could not believe her eyes when the driver of the vehicle in front of them hit and ran over the flagger and left the scene.

“I knew as soon as he got hurt, we pulled over. I didn’t even have my shoes on and I still like ran out and called 911,” Emma says.

But that is not all Emma did. She was able to capture the van’s license plate number and turn it in to police, while her mom rushed to help the flagger and protect him from other vehicles traveling in the area.

“The 12-year-old girl had the presence of mind to pull her phone out and turn her video on, captured the whole thing on video including the license plate number on the white van. And the mom, to her credit, jumped out when she saw the flagger hit, grabbed the flag, stopped traffic from driving near the down person from going on the road and took control of the situation,” Bryson says.

While police continue to look for the driver, it is only a matter of time before he is caught thanks to the instinctive and heroic efforts of Emma and her mom.

“That was probably like one of the nicest things I’ve ever done,” Emma says.

As for Holly Ortiz, she could not be more proud of Emma.

“It just makes me feel good that she knows what to do in that situation and she doesn’t think twice. She would just help someone else out,” she says.

Oakland County Sheriff’s Office says anyone who saw the incident is encouraged to contact police.

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