A Leesburg area teenager was so stuck in a grain bin Saturday that a cousin had to remove corn from his mouth to keep him breathing. But thanks to rescue personnel, neighbors and God, according to the 17-year-old male’s mother, he is OK.
“I would like to take a moment to first thank God for keeping his hand on Lucas and all the rescue team last night,” Mary Beth Craycraft, the teen’s mother, said in a Facebook post. “Thank you to everyone who was there to help and to those there for support. I cannot express how thankful I am for the community we live in. I know it just wasn’t our little small town involved. I know there was surrounding towns there to help. As a mom it is very, very hard to get any kind of emergency call about your child. I just know God was right there with his arms around Lucas.”
She said her son was released from OSU Hospital Saturday night, and that he was sore and pretty shaken up, but OK.
The Highland County North Joint Fire & Ambulance (Leesburg) District and the Highland County Grain Bin Team were dispatched to Monroe Road at 5:47 p.m. Saturday for a male stuck in a grain trailer. Upon arrival crews found the male patient up to his neck in grain. He was able speak with rescue personnel, Paint Creek Joint EMS/Fire District Chief Dave Manning said.
Mutual aid was requested from Paint Creek, the Lynchburg Area Joint Fire & Ambulance District, the Highland County Emergency Management Agency, Fayetteville fire and EMS, the Highland County Sheriff Office, MedFlight, and “our greatest asset — the local farmers,” a Paint Creek Facebook post said.
Crews worked together to get the patient extricated utilizing GSI Res-Q-Tube panels, JPZ Rescue Auger and multiple grain scoops. Local farmer Jeff Roehm brought a Grain Vac System, which greatly enhanced the rescue operations. The patient was successfully extricated at 7:18 p.m. He was conscious, alert, and transported by helicopter to OSU for further evaluation, a Paint Creek said.
“OK, for the back story. Lucas and his cousin, Thomas, was unloading a semi load of corn. Lucas got the bright idea to jump in to help push the corn. Why, I don’t know because he knows better,” Craycraft said. “He said he was alright for a minute and then felt it pulling him down. He said it was only about to his knees and thought he could grab onto the railing and pull himself out. As he was hanging on he found himself being pulled even more and had to let go. He said it felt like it was going to pull him apart if he didn’t let go.”
It was then that her son realized he needed help and started yelling for Thomas.
”When Thomas found him the corn was already to his face,” Craycraft said. “He said he had to tilt his face back and then Thomas had to even get corn out of his mouth. He said he was really scared and thought he was going to die. As you all know, Lucas is not very tall and he said, ‘Mom, God stretched me because I was standing on the hopper top and I was still able to keep my head out enough to breath.’ That right there is a miracle in itself. He said when they finally got his arm free it was blue and had corn indents in it. He said he kept trying to move his legs to keep blood flowing and to steady his breathing. He was in complete survival mode and I have no idea where he learned this.
“When I arrived I was not able to see him at all due to all the people and panels around him. There were several people up there that would keep reassuring me that he was alright. Once MedFlight got there the paramedics did talk to me to let me know where they would be taking him. They did explain what to expect when he got free. They told me that once they pulled him out that he would probably go unresponsive and they would have to tube him. This was due to all the pressure on his body and the length of time he was in there. Then God intervened again and said, ‘No he is going to walk down the ladder.’”
Jeff Roehm, a neighbor down the road, brought his grain vac and that allowed rescuers to remove all the corn around the 17-year-old slowly.
“Well it wasn’t real slow, but enough to slowly remove pressure off his body to allow his blood to slowly get back in rhythm,” Craycraft said. “Once he was free he climbed down the ladder and was checked out by the paramedics and then airlifted to OSU. He was taken there to make sure there was no trauma to his body. Shortly after we arrived we was able to take him home. Lucas did say the flight was really cool and got some good footage of the Buckeye stadium.
“This is why I serve an almight[y] God!!!” Craycraft continued. “There is no other explanation for why Lucas survived except that God said, “I’m not ready for you, I’m here to protect you.’ Thank you again to everyone from the rescue teams, to everyone showing up to help/support, to the phone calls/texts we received, and for all the prayers. I am so grateful for everyone!!”
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.