A U.S. teenager is being hailed as a hero after he saved a distant stranger from an off-road crash — though you might say he was simply watching the right TikTok at the right time.
Trent Jarrett, 12, was live-streaming his quad-bike ride through the West Virginia wilderness over the Easter weekend when he hit a snag, which sent him tumbling and left him trapped under the vehicle.
Fortunately, 13-year-old Caden Cotnoir was watching the stream on TikTok from his home in Gilmanton, N.H., some 130 kilometres away. The two had never met, but Cotnoir followed Jarrett because of their shared interest in hunting and off-roading.
“All of a sudden his phone goes blank,” Caden recalled in an interview with local station WMUR-TV. “You could see a little bit of light, but like brown leaves, then you can just hear him yelling for help.”
The quad vehicle had rolled and was now on top of Trent, pinning him down.
“I could hardly breathe,” Trent later told the broadcaster.
“It was pretty sad to hear (him yelling),” Caden added. “You’re scared that he’s not going to make it out.”
Trent couldn’t free himself, but he did come up with an inventive way to call for help: he started yelling his grandmother’s phone number.
“At that point, I knew something was wrong,” Caden said.
Caden heard the number, wrote it down, then rang it up and reported Trent’s crash.
Trent’s parents showed up within 20 minutes to free him from the vehicle, and he escaped the ordeal with little more than a few cuts and bruises.
“It’s an Easter miracle,” said Matt Currier, who is Caden’s stepdad and the police chief in their hometown. “He did what he was supposed to do and got the right people and it worked out.”
The two boys have not yet met in person, but their virtual friendship is off to a strong start.
“I’d just like to thank him for everything that he’s done,” Trent said.
— With files from The Associated Press