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April 10, 2014

Cool-headed teen saves woman, boy after crash

EAST CHICAGO (AP) — Heroes don't only exist in movies or comic books, and an East Chicago teen proved this Sunday when he saved a woman and her young son after their car crashed into his house.

When East Chicago Central High School football captain and class President Keon Kendall Brown heard an alarming crash just outside his house, the first thing he did was grab his brother and sister and lead them to safety. Keon had volunteered to watch over his siblings, as his mother had been flown to Indianapolis because of complications with a pregnancy.

"My first instinct was to make sure my brother and sister were safe," Keon told The Times in Munster. "When I took them outside, I realized that crash I heard was a car that drove into our home."

Once Keon took his siblings across the street, he ran back to the car because he noticed a young boy screaming and flailing in the backseat. Keon and his neighbor pulled him to safety.

Keon also heard some rumbling under the deployed air bag in the front seat. Keon realized the sounds were those of a woman, later identified as Dialma Diaz, choking and shaking profusely and apparently suffering from a seizure.

"I kept thinking the car was going to catch fire, so I dragged her out and noticed she was choking on her tongue," Keon said. "I just reacted and did what I had to do, to give her a chance to live."

Keon stuck his fingers in her mouth and pulled her tongue out of her throat. Both mother and son were taken to St. Catherine Hospital in East Chicago.

Diaz's boyfriend, Alex Gonzalez, credited Keon's quick thinking for "saving my girlfriend's life."

"I called Keon right away and commended him for what he did," Gonzalez said. "He's a hero, and our family is grateful to him for his acts of kindness."

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