Knoxville, Tenn. (ABC) -- A fast-acting 3-year-old came to an elderly man’s rescue in Tennessee after he spotted the man trapped inside a hot car as temperatures inside the vehicle reached over 120 degrees.
While waiting for his wife to come back from an event at the Vestal Baptist Church in Knoxville last Saturday, Bob King, 68, found himself trapped in his car after the doors automatically locked.
“We’ve been having trouble with the door on this car since we bought it,” King told ABC News.
After numerous cancer treatments and having suffered from two strokes in the past six months, Bob King was described as “in very bad shape” and “could barely see anything” by his wife, Jenny King.
He frantically grabbed the car door, but was too weak to push it open. King panicked.
Without a car key, he couldn’t turn the air conditioning on. It was 91 degrees outside that day -- and the temperature inside the car had reached over 120 degrees.
That’s when King spotted 3-year-old Keith Williams walking past the car. King knocked on the car window repeatedly and Keith stopped.
“I hollered at him and he just looked at me kind of funny and I said ‘Get help, get help,’” King said.
Coincidentally, Keith’s mother, Jessie Williams, had educated him about hot car safety just days before this happened. The toddler, who was barely three feet tall, was not strong enough to open the car door by himself. So he ran over to Pastor Jack Greene, who was volunteering at the benefit event, to get help.
“I was talking to someone and little Keith came behind me and kept saying, ‘Locked, locked, locked,” Greene told ABC News.
Greene didn’t sense something was wrong, but then Keith started patting and pulling his hand, and kept saying “hot, hot.”
“I told the gentleman: ‘Excuse me for a minute’ and I followed him [Keith] out,” Greene said.
“When I saw Bob in the car, I said to myself: “Oh my Lord,’” Greene said.
After a few tries, Greene finally opened the door. As soon as the door opened, King fell out of the car seat and almost hit his head on the pavement.
“His whole body was raining sweat. His face was red like a pickled beet,” Greene said.
“I asked him three times: ‘Are you OK Bob?’” Greene said.
Scared that King would get a stroke, Greene asked if he needed an ambulance.
“Just give me a minute,” King told Greene.
Greene brought King inside the church where there was air conditioning, fed him water and fanned him until King looked better.
King said he would have had waited for another 20 minutes before his wife came back, and he is thankful that Keith, or “little preacher” as Greene lovingly called him, came to his rescue.
“I am very impressed and I’m proud that he would know what to do,” Keith’s mother, Jessie Williams told ABC News.
“He [Keith] said: ‘I saved life’ after I brought Bob inside,” Green said. “He is such a good kid. He is an inspiration and blessing to us.”