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Heroic dog ran 4 miles to campsite, alerting injured owner's loved ones after roll-over car crash

Brandon Garrett was driving to a campsite with his four dogs when he missed a curve and rolled his truck down a steep embankment.

Photos courtesy of Baker County Sheriff's Office

Blue managed to make his way to camp after his owner crashed the truck they were traveling in.

The phrase "dog is a man's best friend" takes on a whole new meaning in a hero dog story coming out of the Pacific Northwest.

On the afternoon of June 2, 2024, Brandon Garrett was driving on a forest service road in Baker County, Oregon, when he lost control of his truck on a curve and tumbled down the steep embankment into a ravine. The 62-year-old was traveling with his four dogs to a camp nearly four miles from the scene of the accident.

One of those dogs, Blue, ran away from the crash site and headed to the familiar campsite where Garrett was scheduled to meet a friend that afternoon. When Garrett was late and then Blue showed up alone, with glass in his snout, the friend Garrett was supposed to meet knew something wasn't right.

Garrett's friends and family searched for him through the night and finally spotted his truck in the ravine in the morning. The steep, unstable terrain, however, made it impossible for them to reach the truck without rappelling gear.

Garrett's brother, Tyree Garrett, told the New York Times that he could see Garrett's injured dogs near the truck. He called out his brother's name but got no response. “It stopped my heart,” he said. “I just, God darn, thought for sure my brother was gone.”

white pickup truck on its side in a creek

Brandon Garrett's truck landed in a creek in a deep ravine.

Photo courtesy of Baker County Sheriff's Office

Tyree drove to where he could get a cell signal and called for help. First responders from the Baker County Sheriff’s Office, Baker County Search and Rescue, Pine Valley Rural Fire District and Halfway Ambulance all responded to the scene. Sheriff Travis Ash located the truck and one of Garrett's dogs in the ravine, but as he searched for a way down the embankment to access the creek, he heard a man's voice yelling for help.

Garrett had crawled about 100 yards from the vehicle, where he spent the night in the cold and pouring rain. Sheriff Ash made his way down the steep, brushy slope to where Garrett lay and began to administer first aid. Meanwhile, Pine Valley Rural Fire volunteers and U.S. Forest Service employees used chainsaws to clear a path for the rescue team.

rescue team setting up highline rope system

A highline rope system was used to bring Garrett to safety.

Photo courtesy of Baker County Sheriff's Office

Getting Garrett to safety and the medical care he needed was no easy feat due to the treacherous landscape and where he was located. Using the cleared path, the team was able to get a rescue basket to Garrett, and the Baker County Search and Rescue Ropes Team set up a highline rope system to transport him across the ravine after he was secured in it.

man being pulled in a rescue basket on ropes across a ravine

The search and rescue team pulled Garrett across the ravine in a rescue basket.

Photo courtesy of Baker County Sheriff's Office

Once he was safely across, Garrett was transported by ambulance to a Life Flight helicopter and then airlifted to a regional hospital.

"This was an incredibly technical rescue performed by Baker County Search and Rescue utilizing a highline rope system. BCSO was also grateful for Pine Valley Rural Fire Protection District, Halfway Ambulance, Life Flight and the U.S. Forest Service employees that provided assistance during the rescue," Baker County Sheriff's Office tells Upworthy. "This was truly a team effort!"

The sheriff's office also reports that Garrett has been released from the hospital and is recovering at home. According to the New York Times, Garrett had injured his ankle and his body was badly battered and bruised. All of the dogs survived the crash, one with a broken hip and an injured femur and another with leg broken in two spots.

But thanks to good boy Blue's memory and his making sure someone knew they needed help, everyone appears to be on the mend.

man with arms around a gray and white whippet dog

Good boy, Blue helped save his human.

Photo courtesy of Baker County Sheriff's Office

Find more images of the rescue on the Baker County Sheriff's Office Facebook page.


Uber driver stopped his fare to save people from a burning building in New York City

'You’d be surprised what any given moment can bring out in you.'

Courtesy of Jemimah Wei

Uber driver saves people from burning builidng

It's not every day your Uber driver stops the car to don a cape and become a hero. OK, there wasn't a cape, but there was certainly a hero. Recently, Fritz Sam was driving for Uber and he was on his way to drop his passenger off at LaGuardia Airport when he noticed flames spilling out of a brownstone window. Instead of continuing his route, he stopped to help.

You may be thinking, "What about the passenger?" Well, Sam consulted with his passenger before leaping into action. The passenger was Jemimah Wei, a 29-year-old writer, and she helped Sam yell up to the second story window to check for people still inside. Sam told PIX11, “Together we just started shouting, ‘Is anyone inside?’ Screaming at the top of our lungs, ‘Come out, come out, there’s a fire.’ I think I just made a decision at that moment to just go inside.” According to The Washington Post, when Sam made it into the building he saw a man and a woman, but the woman refused to move when he urged her to evacuate.

Sam told The Washington Post that convincing the woman to leave "took a little bit of negotiating." He told her, “I’m not leaving without you. If you’re not leaving, I’m not leaving.” He told the publication that the woman eventually left with him and made it safely outside. But Sam wasn't done, the man was still inside, so Sam went back in a second time.

Eventually, Sam was able to guide the man to safety, telling PIX11, “I held his arm because he was a little wobbly and we just walked to the front door. The officer was there. The first firefighter was coming through the door with a hose. So the professionals are here. I’m gonna get out.”

Thankfully, everyone was able to get out of the building safely and no one was injured in the fire, according to multiple news sources. Saving the people in the building was a community effort. Without realizing it, Sam gave his cellphone to a stranger before running into the building and he left his car in the road in front of a fire hydrant, he explained to CNBC.

According to CNBC, a stranger realized Sam's car was blocking the hydrant and was able to get his keys to move the car down the street. His phone was also returned and, surprisingly, he hopped back in his car to drop his passenger off at the airport.

Funnily enough, Sam apologized to Wei for the delay and was concerned he smelled like smoke, but Wei wasn't concerned, according to The Washington Post. “Firstly, you smell fine,” Wei recalled telling him. “And secondly, you just saved a life. Maybe multiple.”

Even after saving people from a burning building, Sam was still providing excellent customer service. Yes, she still made it in time for her 10 a.m. flight, because of course she did. What an amazing story!

Photo by Harshil Gudka on Unsplash

Rescue of an elephant and her calf.

We're normally taught to leave nature alone, especially concerning animals big enough to maul or trample us or generally make surviving an encounter an odds game. But sometimes those wild animals need us, and this intense video of veterinarians in Thailand rescuing an elephant and her calf prove just that. On a rainy day in Thailand, a mama elephant and her baby got stuck in a drain before rescuers could get them out.

Elephants are the world's largest land animal, have memories that are uncanny and mourn loss in a very human way. In fact, African elephants have been observed standing vigil as they mourn a herd member that has died. This human-like mourning may be what draws people to the large majestic animal, and that’s a good thing because about 90% of African elephants have been killed in the last century due to the ivory trade. Asian elephants’ numbers are also declining as they lose their habitat to human infrastructure.

Seeing people work together to get the mama elephant breathing and rescue her baby from the drain brings about a whole different level of heartwarming. The veterinarians don’t hesitate to climb up on top of the massive animal and use their team's whole weight to give it CPR. It’s magnificent to see. Until this video, I didn’t even know elephants could receive CPR.

After a few attempts to get the mama’s heart beating, it finally worked. We see the mama and baby snuggling together as the team of humans backs away and watches with joy and exhaustion.

Photo by Lavi Perchik on Unsplash

Neighbor saves boy drowning in pool.

Most people don’t wake up and wonder how they can become a hero that day. In most instances, it’s about being in the right place at the right time and acting on instinct. That’s what happened when Kansas resident Tom Westerhaus was alerted by his 12-year-old daughter, Maddox, that their neighbor’s preschooler had fallen into the pool. The dad, who had been trained as a lifeguard in his youth, went directly to his training, even though it had been years since he took the required classes. He dived in and was able to pull the 4-year-old out of the pool and immediately begin chest compressions. The child had been submerged for more than three minutes.

The boy's mother, Alexis Rigney, was living many parents' worst nightmare. The mom-of-two said she was taking care of her 4-month-old when she noticed her door was open and her older child was missing. Rigney reported that her son, Xzavier, has autism and when she ran outside to locate him, she heard sirens. Thanks to her neighbor's heroic instinct, her child began breathing on his own after more than two minutes of chest compressions.

Paramedics arrived shortly after the boy began coughing up water and confirmed that if Westerhaus hadn't jumped in when he did, Xzavier probably wouldn't have survived. The father-daughter duo received Hometown Hero awards from Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical for their quick thinking and lifesaving actions. The first responders said that drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death in children and drowning doesn’t always look the way people think.

Thank goodness Maddox recognized something was wrong and alerted her father. Hopefully the pair went out for ice cream to celebrate their new hero status. Surely Xzavier’s mom is storing up on snuggles with her little guy and undoubtedly grateful for her neighbor’s quick acting.