A Good Turn – Francis Howell Union Student Saves Baby from Accident

Posted on 10/11/2017
Connor Bequette poses with his proclamation from St. Peters and the letter from the gracious parent

Just do what is right – that’s what Francis Howell Union student Connor Bequette tries to do every day. Bequette was recently honored by the city of St. Peters for saving his neighbor’s life. From one extreme on the spectrum of kindness, such as bringing coffee for school staff, to the other extreme, saving a child’s life, Bequette just wants to do a good turn daily.

Connor is just that kid,” FHU Principal Rob Gaugh said fondly. “He is pleasant, does not make excuses, and gets along with everyone. He is someone that makes others want to be better every day.” That means a lot coming from his principal, but Bequette’s actions speak louder than any kind words.

It was rush hour on a busy residential street. Bequette was at home, working on his car in the driveway. It was just another night for the FHU senior until he heard the scream. When he looked up, he saw a stroller rolling rapidly down the hill. Bequette immediately knew something was wrong. “OK,” he said, “there’s a kid in (the runaway stroller). I got up as quickly as I could and started running after it. I happened to stop it right before it hit a patch in the concrete.”

Bequette found another gear within himself to catch up with the stroller before it took a spill. “Obviously,” he said with a laugh, “I’m not the most fit person, but something sparked in me.” Something sparked, indeed. Bequette became the Flash, and his desire to help his neighbor sped him on. And just like the costumed hero, Bequette wasn’t looking for any accolades. “At the moment,” he said, “I didn’t think much of it. I was raised to just do your job; to do what’s right, really. At school, too, they teach you to do what’s right.”

The mother of the child was initially in shock, as anyone would be, but managed to give Bequette a hug at the scene. That was enough for Bequette, but not enough for the mother. The next day, the grateful family appeared on his doorstep. “They gave me this card and a huge letter in it,” he said, beaming with pride, “and a picture of the little daughter. Her other daughter … she had broken into her piggy bank and gave me a few coins. She thought it was the best thing ever, that I saved her sister.”

The child’s mother also messaged Bequette’s parents, extending her appreciation, as well as alerting them that she would be nominating him for the St. Peters Random Acts of Kindness, which he later received. He went to the St. Peters Justice Center for the proclamation ceremony and had the opportunity to meet the mayor and other city dignitaries. “That’s where it all started setting in,” Bequette said, “where I started feeling like a real hero.”

Even so, Bequette saw his act as merely doing the right thing. “I believe that everyone is here for a reason,” he said, “and maybe I happened to be in the right place at the right time. And I got to save a little girl and make a new friend.”

Connor Bequette (right) enjoys a laugh with FHU Administrative Assistant Janice PophamThis type of thinking is something Bequette says he has learned from many people. “I’m actually a Boy Scout (Troop 72), too, and I was always told to do a good turn daily, whether that be a small thing like holding a door for someone or buying people coffee.” For instance, Bequette brought in coffee for the FHU staff one morning, just because he wanted to. “Heck, you can even do more, but do at least one.” For the record, he brought in several coffees, not just one. “(Being kind to others) makes me happy, makes other people happy, and makes it a good environment.”

Bequette, who’s working on his Eagle badge, offers this advice to others – both young and old. “Step up and be a leader, rather than a follower,” he said. “Make your own path, or you’ll end up having to follow everyone else. Take action when it’s right, and do a good turn daily.”

These are lessons he says he has learned along the way – from his family, the Scouts, and his school. “I would like to put in a huge thank you to all these teachers and staff,” Bequette said. “They understand what some of us go through, and they put themselves behind us so that we can succeed in life – even though we may have had a bad start, or whatever may have been our story.”

Bequette’s story is already inspiring, but it’s only beginning. “After high school,” he said, “I plan on going to Northwestern Ohio University for high-performance motorsports. I love cars, have always been around them; and racing is just something I’d love to do, as well as working on the cars. I’m hoping to get into NHRA. Drag racing is my favorite.”

And a dangerous sport like that just might need a lifesaver like Connor Bequette. And even though the dragsters go straight, it’s still a sport that can use a person who seeks to make a good turn.

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