‘Everybody stepped up:’ Christian McCaffrey describes harrowing rescue in Castle Rock

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CASTLE ROCK, Colo. — Christian McCaffrey — along with his brothers Dylan and Max, and friends Michael Mann and Brooke Pettet — helped rescue a man who fell 25 feet on Castle Rock on Saturday afternoon.

The McCaffreys were climbing the rock when they saw 72-year-old Dan Smoker fall 25 feet while hiking with his 13-year-old grandson, Elijah Smoker.

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

McCaffrey immediately called 911 as Mann performed chest compressions.

“Everybody stepped up,” McCaffrey said. “I called 911, 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 said his father suffered a fractured femur, fractured pelvis, nine broken ribs, bleeding from his abdomen and brain, and his neck is broken.

“It was such a crazy experience,” Elijah Smoker said. “But the McCaffreys changed how the story went. I can’t thank them enough.

“It could’ve been I went on a hike and my grandpa died but instead it’s I went on a hike and some professional football players helped my grandpa.”

After the incident, the McCaffreys visited the Smoker family in the hospital and continue to text with Elijah.

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

Smoker’s son tweeted on Wednesday, “Big day today for dad. The doctors are hoping to extubate as early as this morning, which means they can start to bring him out of sedation. Prayers appreciated.”

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