- Grant Halverson/Getty Images
- Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey had to spring to action after witnessing a terrifying injury while hiking in Colorado.
- McCaffrey and his group saw 72-year-old Dan Smoker Sr. fall close to 20 feet onto a rock, and quickly got to work calling 911, stabilizing Smoker, and comforting Smoker’s grandson Eli through the experience.
- Dan Smoker Jr. would later credit McCaffrey and his friends for saving his father’s life, and helping his son get through an extremely difficult time.
Christian McCaffrey was hiking with his brothers and some friends over the weekend in Denver, Colorado when the Panthers running back and his party had to spring to action to help save the life of a fellow outdoorsman.
McCaffrey and his group witnessed 72-year-old Dan Smoker Sr. fall close to 20 feet or so onto a rock.
“It felt like he was in the air for 10 seconds,” Christian McCaffrey said, according to Panthers.com. “I had never seen anything quite like that in my life as far as the trauma and the sound. We were in shock.”
But the group jumped to action – McCaffrey called 911 to get help to the situation, and MaCaffrey’s friends worked to stabilize Smoker’s position and even performing chest compressions when he stopped breathing. Others stayed with Smoker’s grandson Eli, who was accompanying him on the hike.
Smoker was taken to the hospital and still alive, despite a running list of injuries including a broken femur, a broken pelvis, internal bleeding, bleeding on the brain, nine fractured ribs and a broken neck. As of Tuesday evening, he was in critical but stable condition.
Smoker’s son, Dan Jr, credited the group for saving his father’s life, and helping to comfort his son through the emotionally traumatic. McCaffrey and his friends were sure to check back in with Smoker and his family once he had checked into the hospital.
Michael Mann, @run__cmc and @notoriousmax25 are great football players, but even better humans. Yesterday, they helped save my dads life after he fell off of Castle Rock. They comforted my son when he was alone. Then showed up at the hospital to check in. @AdamSchefter @espn pic.twitter.com/MVAdbr2gYV
— Dan Smoker (@dsmokexu) March 4, 2018
Because of Michael Mann, @notoriousmax25, @run__cmc and a few other amazing folks, my 13yo son isn't telling a story about how he went on a hike with his grandpa and his grandpa died. He's telling a story of strength, hope, and human goodness. @AdamSchefter @espn
— Dan Smoker (@dsmokexu) March 6, 2018
“We all took it upon ourselves to check up on that kid,” McCaffrey explained. “It could be a lifelong bond between us. He experienced a lot in those five minutes.”
Most of all, McCaffrey was just happy they were there to help. “I don’t know what would have happened… We were lucky to be at the right place at the right time.”