Christian McCaffrey Life Saver: Panthers RB Helps Rescue Hiker After Fall

Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey

Photo via Bob Donnan/USA TODAY Sports Images

Christian McCaffrey’s quick reactions score touchdowns and preserves life.

The Carolina Panthers running back helped save a hiker’s life Saturday in Castle Rock, Colo. McCaffrey, his two brothers and two friends of theirs were hiking in the great outdoors when they witnessed a man, Dan Smoker Sr., 72, fall 20 feet onto a rock.

“It felt like he was in the air for 10 seconds,” McCaffrey told the Panthers’ website. “I had never seen anything quite like that in my life as far as the trauma and the sound. We were in shock.”

McCafffrey called 9-1-1, while one of his friends and another onlooker tended to Smoker by holding his head and giving him chest compression when he stopped breathing.

“Everybody stepped up,” McCaffrey said. “… 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 Sr. broke his femur, pelvis, neck and nine ribs and suffered internal and brain bleeding in the fall.

Yet, his son, Dan Smoker Jr., believes McCaffrey and Co. are heroes.

“I credit them with saving my dad’s life,” Smoker Jr. said.

Smoker Sr. remains hospitalized, and his condition was critical but stable as of Tuesday night. McCaffrey has visited him and forged a connection with Smoker Jr. and his 13-year-old son, who witnessed his grandfather’s catastrophic fall.

“We all took it upon ourselves to check up on that kid,” McCaffrey said. “It could be a lifelong bond between us. He experienced a lot in those five minutes.”

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