NFL players help rescue man who fell while hiking in Colorado

Posted at 9:49 AM, Mar 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-07 09:49:24-05

CASTLE ROCK, Colo. - The McCaffrey brothers are credited with saving the life of a 72-year-old man who suffered major injuries after falling while hiking in Colorado.

Max, Christian, and Dylan McCaffrey were climbing at Castle 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, according to KDVR.

“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.

Around seven people, including the McCaffrey boys, immediately helped Smoker and comforted the 13-year-old before firefighters arrived.

Smoker was transported to an area hospital with potentially life-threatening injuries, according to the Castle Rock Fire Department. Smoker's son says he suffered a fractured femur, fractured pelvis, 9 broken ribs, bleeding from his abdomen and brain, and his neck is broken.

"It was such a crazy experience," Elijah Smoker said. "But the McCaffrey's 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," Elijah added.

Dan Smoker's son (also Dan Smoker) 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."

"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.

The boys even visited the family in the hospital on Sunday and took a photo with Elijah. The family says 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!"

Smoker remains in the ICU at an area hospital recovering from his injuries.

The McCaffrey brothers played football at Valor Christian in Colorado before entering the NFL. Christian McCaffrey was drafted No. 8 overall in the 2017 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers. Max McCaffrey is currently a wide 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. Their father, Ed McCaffrey, was a wide receiver in the NFL for thirteen seasons from 1991-2003.