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15-year-old boy frees younger brother from fallen tree at Indiana recreation area

CLOVERDALE, Ind. (WISH) — Denise Sanchez was celebrating Father’s Day with her family and five kids at Lieber State Recreation Area on Saturday when a tree fell on their campsite and hit her 8-year-old son, Robert.

“The force, like, the thump, was so loud that I couldn’t believe it. Like, I was pretty far from there, and you could feel it,” said Denise, of Indianapolis.

Robert’s brother, Neithan Morales, 15, said, “I seen the tree and then I seen Robert just sitting there and ran after him.”

Denise says she was in the restroom when the tree fell on Robert, and Neithan freed his brother.

“All the people from the campsites around were running toward us, and there was this humongous tree on the ground,” Denise said.

“I thought I was like … so crazy. My arm was hurting so bad,” Robert said.

About his brother’s rescue, Robert said, “I was so, like, thankful because if he didn’t do it, I’d be crushed and stuff.”

The 8-year-old boy was taken to Riley Hospital for Children with a broken arm. Denise says rain and wind beat the campsite Saturday night, but the family never imagined the worst. “That storm was huge. The wind was hard. Most of the tents had flooded, but I didn’t expect it to fall the next day,” Denise said.

“The Putnamville Fire Department was amazing,” Denise said. “They kept him contained the whole way there.”

Robert said, “I was thought it was like cool because I talked with them for a little bit because I was saying, ‘Did you ever deal with kids like that?'”

Denise says, despite her son’s injury, her family plans on visit the Indiana Department of Natural Resources campground again in the future.

“Camping can be so fun and, in a moment’s notice, anything can change. Nothing could have prevented it. I’d say being prepared for a problem is best especially in an area with no cell service,” Denise said.

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