updated 6/26/2007 10:16:32 PM ET 2007-06-27T02:16:32

A resourceful 78-year-old retiree saved herself and others from possible serious injuries Monday after her taxi driver suddenly died of a heart attack on the highway, police said.

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The man was driving the woman on Germany’s autobahn near the northern city of Luebeck when he suddenly died, and the car careened into a guard rail.

The woman, who was in the front passenger seat, didn’t panic, but instead reached across and yanked the car out of gear, then pulled the hand brake.

The car then slowed to a stop nearly 300 yards farther along the highway. She was unharmed.

Police praised the woman for her “courageous intervention” that prevented a possible serious accident. She then got a lift home in an officer’s squad car.

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