CASTLE ROCK, Colo. — Three of the sons of former Broncos receiver Ed McCaffrey helped rescue a man who fell 25 feet on Castle Rock on Saturday afternoon, the Castle Rock Fire Department said.
Max, Christian and Dylan McCaffrey were climbing the rock when 72-year-old Dan Smoker fell while he was climbing down from the top of the rock.
Smoker was with his 13-year-old grandson, Elijah Smoker, at the time.
“I heard what sounded like a shoe slipping on some rock and then I heard him say, oh, like it sounded like his voice and I turn around about halfway through his fall and I see him hit the ground,” Elijah Smoker said.
About seven people, including the McCaffreys, immediately helped Smoker and comforted the 13-year-old before firefighters arrived.
Smoker was taken to a hospital with potential life-threatening injuries, according to the fire department.
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.”
Dan Smoker’s son, Dan Smoker III, tweeted at the McCaffrey brothers to thank them for jumping into action so quickly.
“Michael Mann, [Christian McCaffrey] and [Max McCaffrey] are great football players, but even better humans. Yesterday, they helped save my dads life after he fell off of Castle Rock,” Smoker III tweeted.
“Because of [them] and a few other amazing folks, my 13-year-old 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.”
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
“You all are truly amazing. Tonight, one of the nurses told us that they have been calling my dad ‘the broken man,’ but as of today, they changed it to ‘the miracle man’ and the miracle started with you all,” Smoker III added.
You all are truly amazing. Tonight, one of the nurses told us that they have been calling my dad "the broken man", but as of today, they changed it to "the miracle man"… And the miracle started with you all.
— Dan Smoker (@dsmokexu) March 6, 2018
The McCaffreys visited the family in the hospital on Sunday and took a photo with Elijah. The family said they didn’t realize who they were until they visited the hospital.
“I know where Eli gets his strength,” Christian McCaffrey tweeted. “Watched Dan Sr. fight with everything he has and I know he will continue to do so! We’re praying for you guys!”
I know where Eli gets his strength! Watched Dan Sr. fight with everything he has and I know he will continue to do so! We’re praying for you guys!🙏🏼
— Christian McCaffrey (@CMC_22) March 6, 2018
Smoker remains in ICU at a hospital recovering from his injuries.
The McCaffrey brothers played football at Valor Christian High School. Two of them are in the NFL.
Christian McCaffrey was drafted No. 8 overall in the 2017 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers. Max McCaffrey is a receiver for the San Francisco 49ers.
Dylan McCaffrey plays football at the University of Michigan. Luke McCaffrey will be a senior next year at Valor Christian.