Eric Roman, 37, remained hospitalized Friday, a day after two startled FDNY Emergency Medical Technicians spotted the little girl steering the car along a side road toward the busy Belt Parkway during rush hour on Thursday.
“We turned with the car and saw this little girl behind the wheel,” said EMT Arlene Garcia, a mother of three: “I’m a mom, so I was freaking out. I started yelling at her to pull over and stop the car.”
The diminutive driver seemed small for her age, Garcia said.
“There’s no way her feet could reach the pedals. We were turning with her, telling her to pull over, waving our arms wildly at her, but she wasn’t pulling over.”
EMTs Arlene Garcia (l.) and Charles Zimring, helped the 7-year-old daughter of Eric Roman stop the car.
As the child kept a snail’s pace, the first responders came up with a plan.
“We said to ourselves, ‘How do you stop her?’ So we pulled right in front of her with the ambulance and that’s how we stopped it,” Garcia explained.
The slow-moving Lexus smacked the truck’s back bumper and came to a stop.
Garcia and her partner EMT Charles Zimring found a disturbing scene in the luxury vehicle.
“When we asked her what happened, she said ‘My dad was sleeping so I was going to finish driving him home,’ ” Garcia explained.
FDNY Emergency Medical Technicians spotted the small child steering the car on a side road toward the busy Beltway during rush hour on Thursday.
The quick thinking kid told the medics that she was in the back seat when her doped-up dad passed out.
So she unbuckled herself and took the wheel.
“She wasn’t scared at all. She was so great,” Garcia said. “All she was worried about was getting grounded for driving without permission.”
Police sources said first responders brought Roman back with a life-saving dose of the opioid antidote Naloxone.
He was taken to a Brooklyn hospital for treatment.
A relative who answered the door at the Roman home Friday declined to comment on the incident: “I’ve got nothing to say,” the man said before closing the door.
Roman was due for arraignment in Brooklyn court Friday on charges of reckless endangerment, acting in a manner injurious to a child and driving while impaired by drugs.
Neighbors said the 7-year-old is the older of Roman’s two daughters, and expressed surprise about his alleged drug use.
“He seems very family-oriented. He’s a very nice guy,” said Brian Zheng, 39. He said Roman was complaining of tennis elbow, and his arm was in a sling last month.
“Probably he hurts very much,” Zheng said.
EMTs Garcia and Zimring were heralded for their efforts by their peers.