Jeff Smith was pulling a stump from his garden near McDowell Creek Park on Monday, but his mud-caked boot slipped off the tractor’s clutch. The machine flipped upside down and on top of him.
The steering wheel pinned the 36-year-old to the dirt, pressing into his chest.
His daughters, just home from school, were walking the family’s dogs.
“We heard, ‘Save me. Help me, God,’” said 14-year-old Haylee Smith, an eighth-grader at Hamilton Creek School.
She and her sister Hannah Smith, a 16-year-old sophomore at Lebanon High School, raced to their dad and called 911.
And then they lifted the 3,000 pound tractor enough so their father could wriggle and get the machine off his torso.
The girls remained calm and did what they felt they needed to do. As they describe it, it was clear that their adrenaline kicked in and gave them strength beyond what they would have thought they had. Both girls noted they felt the effects of the task – feeling really awful and sore the next day. I really liked this story. It shows that, when pushed, we can exceed our our capacity. I’m glad this turned out well.