Christian McCaffrey was enjoying his offseason on a hike in Castle Rock, Colorado Saturday when he stumbled upon something that he’ll never forget.
The Carolina Panthers running back witnessed a Dan Smoker Sr. fall 20 feet onto a rock below him. Luckily for the 72-year-old, McCaffrey’s quickly notified paramedics, who rushed to the scene. Smoker survived.
McCaffrey shared the experience with Panthers.com:
It was a beautiful Colorado Saturday, as Christian McCaffrey describes it.
“We were going to go to lunch,” McCaffrey recalled Tuesday in a phone interview, “and then just randomly we were like, ‘Let’s go hike the rock.’”
So McCaffrey – along with his brothers Dylan and Max and friends Michael Mann and Brooke Pettet – went to Castle Rock. They were making their way to the top when they turned a corner and saw something that will stay with them forever.
Eli Smoker was hiking with his grandfather, Dan Smoker, Sr.
Then the 72-year-old fell – about 20 feet onto a rock.
“It felt like he was in the air for 10 seconds,” Christian McCaffrey said. “I had never seen anything quite like that in my life as far as the trauma and the sound. We were in shock.”
McCaffrey called 9-1-1. Mann and a fellow onlooker named Chris tended to Smoker, who was suffering greatly from the devastating fall. Chris kept his head still and Mann performed chest compressions when Smoker’s breathing stopped.
“Everybody stepped up,” McCaffrey said. “I called 9-1-1, and it felt like an eternity. It felt like we were up there waiting for four hours. But I looked back at my call log and it took 11 minutes before the paramedics came. Amazing what those guys did.”
Smoker’s son took to Twitter to thank McCaffrey for his help in saving his father’s life:
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