MWSU Athletes Rescue Toddler from Hot Car

Published 09/06 2011 04:37PM

Updated 09/06 2011 07:26PM

(St. Joseph, Mo.) As co-captains, and fellow defensive backs, Jack Long and Shane Simpson are used to being in the middle of on-field action together.

Apparently, off-the-field heroics are a package deal as well.

Just days before Western's season opener with Pittsburg State, the teammates helped save a 17-month old boy who was trapped inside a car.


The boy's grandmother, Teresa Gall, had put the toddler in his car seat, and was ready to take him to his parents, when she accidentally locked the keys inside of her car.  17-month old Liam Snook was trapped inside.  The car windows were rolled up, and took only a few minutes for the sweltering heat of an August day to take its toll.

"I was panicked, and horrified,"  explained Gall.  "he was crying and getting sick, and I couldn't get to him."

Gall's sister grabbed a hammer to break the car window, but the two couldn't manage to shatter the glass.

"I couldn't believe it," Gall explained.  "We were hitting the glass as hard as we could and nothing."

Liam was beginning to lose consciousness.  

"All I could think was 'God please send somebody'.

Meanwhile, Long and Simpson had just got out of practice, and were driving home, when they passed the scene.

"We just saw this woman beating on the car with a bat," Long said.  "We thought she maybe had locked her keys in the car, but then thought that was kind of an extreme thing to do for keys."

The two turned their car around, and Gall came running at them pleading for help.

"All I heard was there's a baby trapped in the car,"  explained Simpson--himself a father of a toddler.
"Adrenaline took over, and that's really all I remember."

Simpson took the hammer, busted the car window with one swing, and pulled Liam to safety.   

While Gall tended to her grandson inside the house, Long and Simpson went on their way, but returned later to check on the boy.

"That's what I thought was so unbelievable," explained Gall.  "That these two young men, not only helped save his life, but came back to see how he was doing."

Aside from minor dehydration, Liam was fine.

Gall wanted to give the two heroes money for their troubles.

"I knew what it was like to be a poor college kid," she said.

Long and Simpson politely declined.  They had another idea.

"I told her she could repay us by coming to our game," Long said.

Gall admits she doesn't know much about football, but she obliged.  She brought her entire family--including Liam--for Western's season opener against Pittsburg State.  

The Griffons didn't win, but it didn't matter to Gall.  She admits she'll now be a life-long Griffon football fan, because of the efforts of the two safeties who saved her grandson.

"They saved his life," she said.  "I'll forever be grateful."

Story courtesy: Ryan Menley, MWSU

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