A 12-year-old girl has been lauded as a “hero” for saving her little sister after she outsmarted a carjacker who climbed into her mother’s car.
Maddie Weiler was in the car with her mother Brandie and seven-year-old sister Mollie when they witnessed a car crash in Virginia.
They quickly pulled over to help the victims, however while Ms Weiler was on the phone to emergency services, Paul Salsman approached the car, unlocked the door through the window and climbed in, according to Williamsburg police.
“I could see him going toward the van, and I’m screaming,” Ms Weiler told WTKR.
However, quick-thinking Maddie started punching Salsman and screaming for help. She also put the car into drive so he would be unable to start the engine.
“I just went for it,” Maddie said. “Nothing passed my mind except: ‘He is a psycho and he needs to get out of the car’.”
Even after Mollie had climbed out of the car, Maddie continued attacking Salsman.
"Once I saw Mollie out [of the car], I yelled for Maddie to get out," Ms Weiler said. "She was too busy beating the guy to realise that her sister was out."
According to police, Salsman had tried to steal two other cars before the Weilers arrived. He has since been charged with carjacking, hit and run and driving under the influence.