Watch live: Channel 2 News at 4 p.m.

3-year-old boy rescues man trapped inside hot car

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- An East Tennessee man is alive thanks to a fast acting 3-year-old. The man was locked inside his car with the sun beating down and temperatures in the 90s.

Keith Williams' favorite pastime is playing video games, his favorite food is string cheese and he's barely 3 feet tall. But don't underestimate him when it comes to saving lives.

"We've had a little problem with the switch on this car," Bob King said.

The heat inside King's car was quickly rising when he found himself trapped Saturday afternoon. King has battled cancer, suffered from strokes and wears a pacemaker. He says he had been locked inside at the parking lot of his church for about 5 minutes when he saw 3-year-old Williams walk by.

"I hollered at him and he just looked at me kind of funny and I said, 'Yeah I'm locked in here," King said.

Williams knew exactly what to do. He went to his pastor, Jack Greene, and took him outside.

"He kept pulling at my hand and I eventually turned around and looked at him and said what's going on and he said 'Locked, locked!?" Greene said.

Williams knew something wasn't right.

"He was hot," he says.

"I am very impressed and I'm proud that he would know what to do," says his mother, Jessie Williams.

It might have been his superhero shirt and his Ninja Turtle shoes that gave him special powers that day. Whatever it was, King is just thankful little Keith was there.

"I'm very thankful," King says. "I don't know how long it had been. I'd say it probably be another 20 minutes sitting in there if he hadn't notified somebody."

Greene was able to open the car door from the outside and get King out.



  • Anon

    Why didn’t he just use the horn? Or lower the windows (different ‘switches’ on most cars)? Why in the hell was a three year old wandering around in the parking lot by himself? And finally, why is this even news? Any normal three year old would understand being told to go get an adult for help.

    • Anonymous

      I agree. Not news worthy at all and why was the three year old unsupervised in the parking lot. How can someone lock themselves in the car. Problem with switch? What kind of problem? What make and model of car? Is the man mentally handicapped? This seems like a publicity stunt more than a news story – and not a very convincing one at that.

    • Mary

      First, are you POSITIVE that he’d have been able to lower the windows in this situation? Look how many “systems failed” because of those ignition switch problems. Of course, given Mr. King’s health conditions, he could have panicked, but I’m guessing he tried everything he could.

      I’ll grant you the 3 year old shouldn’t have been unattended – but he may have been chasing a ball from a play area and not far out of sight of an adult OR he could be typical toddler who can dash out of anyplace in mere seconds.

      As far as a 3 year old child “knowing what to do” – some do, some don’t – and Mr. King was lucky that the child knew what to do AND that an adult took him seriously!

    • Alison Webb

      Many older people get confused and are vulnerable to situations outside the norm – along with this man suffering from different illnesses and doubtless on medication. The environment of the parking lot certainly doesn’t look like an ‘urban’ or heavy traffic area per the video. I’m not skeptical – but I’m not looking for every angle to dispel the story. Being cynical today is the sad reality, when many of the country’s ‘leaders’ appear untrustworthy and stories of people being deceitful and opportunistic is spoonfed to American’s 24/7. Glad everything turned out alright for this gentleman. The story will be uplifting to many, inconsequential to some and simply mundane to the high-drama seekers.

Comments are closed.