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Panthers' Christian McCaffrey helps rescue 72-year-old hiker seriously injured from fall

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - As Carolina Panthers fans hope to see Christian McCaffrey develop into a difference-maker on the field, the young running back apparently made a life-saving call for one Colorado family off the field over the weekend.

According to the Carolina Panthers, McCaffrey was out hiking with his brothers Dylan and Max and former Duke defensive lineman Michael Mann in Castle Rock, Colo., when they witnessed something traumatic: an elderly man falling 20 feet onto a rock.

“It felt like he was in the air for 10 seconds,” Christian McCaffrey said in the Panthers' website. “I had never seen anything quite like that in my life as far as the trauma and the sound. We were in shock.”

The three McCaffrey brothers and Mann stepped in to help the man, later identified as Dan Smoker Sr. The Carolina Panther dialed 911, Mann and another witness tended to Smoker, who had suffered serious injuries from the fall. Mann began performing chest compressions when Smoker stopped breathing, according to the team's website.

“Everybody stepped up,” Christian said on the team's website. “I called 911, and it felt like an eternity. It felt like we were up there waiting for four hours. But I looked back at my call log and it took 11 minutes before the paramedics came. Amazing what those guys did.”

According to the Panthers' website, Smoker suffered a broken femur, a broken pelvis, internal bleeding, bleeding on the brain, nine fractured ribs and a broken neck from the fall.

“I credit them with saving my dad’s life,” Smoker's son, Dan Jr., said of the group on Castle Rock in the Panthers' website.

As of late Tuesday afternoon, the elder Smoker was currently in critical but stable condition. His son took to Twitter to thank the McCaffrey brothers and Mann.

Dan Smoker Jr. said the men's heroic act is the reason why his son will not have to tell a story about how Dan Sr. was killed in a hiking accident.

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