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30-Pound Boy Moves Two-Ton Truck To Free His Dad

February 2, 1985

WILLIAMSTOWN, Ky. (AP) _ Charles Bowen was pinned under a two-ton truck, with his 4-year-old son the only person around. But the cool-headed boy rushed to his father’s aid and, straining on a jack, freed him before running for help.

Later, when Bowen tried to find words to express his gratitude, the boy took over the situation again.

″He came in and stood there about ready to cry ... and then he jumped up here and hugged me. I guess that said it all,″ Bowen, hospitalized with a broken hip, said Wednesday night.

Bowen, 33, was working under the truck in the family garage in Williamstown, midway between Lexington and Cincinnati, when the vehicle fell off the jack Monday, pinning him across the abdomen.

He reached for the jack with one hand and yelled for Brandon.

″Daddy’s trapped, son. You’re going to have to help me. Get a jack handle,″ Bowen recalled saying.

″The axle pinned me. Brandon was the only person around,″ Bowen said.

While the 30-pound boy retrieved a ratchet, his father slipped the jack under the rear springs. Bowen told his son how to insert the handle into the jack.

″I told him he had to jack the truck up. Before I could say anything else, he grabbed a long ratchet I have and put it in the jack handle. He jacked it up a little bit and said, ‘I can’t jack it any further.’ I pumped the handle a couple of times, but I was about to pass out and I couldn’t go any longer. Then Brandon did it a couple more times and the truck was off me,″ Bowen recalled.

He was lying on a ″creeper,″ a rolling platform mechanics use to slide under vehicles, and Brandon grabbed Bowen’s foot and pull him out.

″He’s been around my garage before, and he’s always playing with the jack,″ the father said. ″He was real cool about the whole thing. He knew what to do and wasted no time.″

He sent Brandon for a cordless telephone, but a neighbor didn’t answer the phone, so the youngster raced next door for help. Minutes later, he returned with Victor Steger, who summoned an ambulance.

Bowen went off to the hospital, and Brandon headed to a relative’s home, apparently fearing the worst, too.

″He thought he was dead,″ said Jennifer Bowen, the boy’s mother.

″He’s been very withdrawn and quiet since Monday. Until he finally saw his daddy, I think he thought he was gone forever. ... He couldn’t understand why his daddy wasn’t home.″

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