Ida Township teen lifts car to save grandfather

Published On: Feb 20 2012 10:02:51 PM EST
Updated On: Feb 20 2012 11:01:54 PM EST

Austin Smith and his grandfather, Ernest "Papa Ernie" Monhollen, were at home Saturday morning trying to fix an old clunker.

IDA TOWNSHIP, Mich. -

Austin Smith Austin Smith and his grandfather, Ernest "Papa Ernie" Monhollen, were at home Saturday morning trying to fix an old clunker.

The 1991 Buick was propped up on cinder blocks and Monhollen was underneath.

"I was inside, just like this pumping the breaks like this, and I felt it rock just slightly," Austin said.

Austin, 15, said he got out of the car and a few moments later it collapsed. Monhollen was trapped underneath the more than 2,000 pound vehicle.

"I was just so scared," Austin said. "I didn't know what to do."

He took action. He lifted the front end high enough for his 74-year-old grandfather to escape.

How did he lift the rock-heavy vehicle? It's a mystery to Austin, too.

"I have no clue," he said. "Probably all the adrenaline. I mean, I couldn't do it right now."

Ernie Monhollen Monhollen suffered a serious cut to his face, fractured ribs and a fractured eye socket.

"Thank God he was here because if it was just me and his grandmother it would have been over. That would have been it," Monhollen said.

Both have learned that sometimes one doesn't know what he is capable of doing until he is faced with no choice but to react.

"Well, we're very close and I think it might, it'll definitely make us closer," Austin said.

Monhollen is a proud grandfather.

"He's a wonderful young man. That's all I can say," the grandfather said.

Teen lifts car -- the Buick

Teen saves grandfather

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