Skip to main content

Christian McCaffrey helps save 72-year-old hiker

Christian McCaffrey is a budding star on the football field. Turns out, he's a pretty good person off of it, too.

The Carolina Panthers running back relayed a wild tale to the team's website Tuesday in which he, his brothers Dylan and Max and a pair of friends helped save a life while on a hike Saturday at Castle Rock in Colorado.

As McCaffrey explains it, the group of hikers were ascending to the top of the hike when they witnessed 72-year-old Dan Smoker Sr. fall about 20 feet onto a rock below him.

"It felt like he was in the air for 10 seconds," 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."

Smoker, who was on the hike with his 13-year-old grandson, Eli, suffered severe injuries in the fall, including a broken femur, a broken pelvis, internal bleeding, bleeding on the brain, nine fractured ribs and a broken neck.

The McCaffreys, their friends and an onlooker acted quickly, helping tend to the man, administering chest compressions when his breathing waned. Eventually, the grandfather was rushed to the hospital, and as of Tuesday, he was in critical but stable condition.

The man's son, Dan Smoker Jr., credited the group with saving his father's life.

As for Eli, McCaffrey said he and his family have made it a point to stay in contact with him after he had to witness such a traumatic event to his grandfather.

"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."

McCaffrey could end up being one of the NFL's most dynamic players in the next few years. But if his weekend's actions are any indication of who he is off the gridiron, it's clear that accolade would be just a footnote on his life resume.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content