Heroic Teen Channels Superman to Save His Grandfather's Life


BuickFrom time to time, a story will hit the news about some amazing feat pulled by a mother or father trying to save their child. This time, it’s a kid returning the favor for someone they love.

Austin Smith was spending a Saturday morning working on the car with his grandfather, doing some repairs to the brakes. Suddenly, the cinderblocks holding the vehicle up gave way and it crashed down, pinning Ernest "Papa Ernie" Monhollen underneath.

That’s when instinct kicked in, and 15-year-old Austin lifted the 2,000 pound Buick off of his grandpa, allowing him to crawl out to safety. We don’t often think of strapping teenage boys as guardian angels, but now it’s pretty obvious that we should add them next to the cherubs and resident saints. One look at that poor older man’s face will break your heart but thinking about the alternative will elevate it.

"Thank God he was here,” his grandfather has said, “because if it was just me and his grandmother, it would have been over.”  

Austin isn’t all caught up in his heroics, though. In fact, the Ida Township, Mich. kid admits he was terrified and is just as wowed by his show of strength as everybody else. And because of it, Mr. Monhollen escaped with fractured ribs, injuries to his eye socket, and a few cuts and bruises, but he’s walking, talking and proud of his grandson. In fact, he says, the brush with death has brought them even closer. Isn’t that just adorable?

What’s the most courageous thing you’ve done?

Image via circax/Flickr

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bublysns bublysns

This is so amazing!

nonmember avatar Mike M

Ideally they would have at been using jack stands instead of just cinder blocks (I do my own automotive work and I've heard another story about someone who used cinder blocks to hold up a car and the blocks broke (or maybe tipped over as was the case here) and the person may have been injured or killed [I don't recall exactly as that was some time ago]). Also, looking at the picture of this car after the accident the cinder blocks (which are long and skinny) are parallel to each other (and to the length of the car). The least they should have done was put the cinder blocks at a 90 degree angle to each other so that the blocks would have given it as much stability as is possible and likely not tipped over as the result of a lateral force applied to the car.

It's always wise to be extra careful about how a car is lifted off the ground if you are going to be working under it as they can and do fall. And as placement of the jack and jack stands can have a significant impact on the amount of stability there is, if I don't feel comfortable with the placement of the jack or jack stands I'll push on the car so I have a better idea of how stable it is. (I've never felt a car move at all when doing that with it up on jack stands on a concrete surface; cars often move when I push on them if they're only up on a floor jack; and I don't like using scissor jacks as they're so small and flimsy.) (Also, the higher it is lifted the less stable it is so I'm careful about that as well.)

Cacho... Cachorritos

What an incredible story! Thank you for posting this, Janelle. It gave me the morning lift that not even good coffee can match!

Stacey. Stacey.

Good pointers Mike, someone recently died in my neighborhood because of this. Austin and his Grandpa are too precious, I am glad that man is ok, thank God he was granted the strength to save him. How horrible would that have been helplessly wacthing your Grandpa die...

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