Husband says Car Talk article in Dayton Daily News saved couple from deadly situation

A Car Talk article published in the Dayton Daily News helped save a local couple from what could have been a deadly situation, the husband said.

The July 11 Car Talk article told readers what to do if a driver becomes incapacitated behind the wheel, and Don and Ann Vendely found themselves in that exact situation a few days after reading it.

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The Vendelys were southbound on Interstate 75 on July 15 on the way to visit their grandsons when Don Vendely passed out behind the wheel while driving 70 mph.

“We were cruising down the highway, and I noticed a big gap of cars to my right. I moved over to the right-hand side, which is rare for me, and then all I remember is feeling the car lurch to the left,” said Don Vendely. “Ann grabbed the wheel to keep us going straight, put the car in neutral, and as I was coming to, I put the hazard lights on.”

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Luckily, Ann Vendely had remembered what Ray Magliozzi of Car Talk said to do: grab the wheel and keep the car going straight, put the car in neutral and ease it to the side of the road while turning on the hazard lights.

Ann Vendely was able to move the car to the right side of the road and bring it to a stop, without needing to hit the brakes.

“Once we had pulled over and I had come to, we started to change drivers since there was no way that I was going to drive. Luckily, we were almost to the exit where the new Kettering Emergency Center is in Franklin,” he said.

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The Kettering Health Network treated Don immediately and before the day was over, he had a pacemaker installed.

“We just wanted to thank the Dayton Daily News for printing Car Talk in the Wheels section,” said Don Vendely. “If we hadn’t read that article, the incident could have had a very different outcome.”

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