08/30/2013 12:34 pm ET Updated Aug 30, 2013

Esteria Smith, 9-Year-Old Florida Girl, Drives Father To Hospital As He Blacks Out

This backseat driver may have been a lifesaver.

Last week, a 9-year-old Florida girl grabbed the wheel from her father as he lost consciousness, steering them safely to the hospital, WJHG reports.

Esteria Smith's dad, John Smith, picked her up Monday from karate class in Panama City and became agitated and confused as they walked to the car. Things got worse as he drove, the report notes. He began to mumble and lost his vision, prompting Esteria to take action.

She grabbed the wheel from the back seat as her dad kept pressing the accelerator and resisting. But Esteria was able to guide the vehicle for eight harrowing blocks to the emergency room. Doctors there discovered that he has a brain tumor for which he'll begin immediate treatment, WJHG noted.

For more details head on over to WJHG.

Praise poured in for the quick-thinking kid as the story spread around the Web.

"What a brave little girl," one reader at Newser said. " ... She sounds pretty sharp."

A commenter at MSN's site wrote, "You're awesome, Esteria."

Damon Spaeth, a 13-year-old from Indiana, knows what it's like to be a passenger-turned-hero. In December, his dad fainted, and the car swerved toward an oncoming firetruck. Damon seized the wheel to steer them to safety.