Who said that only moms can have uncanny protective instincts when it comes to their kids? When 17-year-old Samuel failed to come home on a Sunday night, dad Tony Lethbridge had a bad feeling. The teen son didn’t respond to any of his family’s messages and posts for information on Facebook didn’t give them any results. His family began to panic. Samuel’s parents, Tony and Lee, went to the police to report their missing son’s disappearance. They were reportedly told to simply go home and wait – but no one in the family could sit still and wait for the police to do their job. Tony couldn’t sleep, so he went out to search for his son.
Tony’s gut feeling told him where they should start searching: Around an accident-prone road where that boy had died in a traffic accident a few years earlier. Just 10 minutes after the helicopter took off, the family discovered a white car wrecked on the side of the Pacific Highway, close to Newcastle, north of Sydney. The exact area Samuel’s dad had led them to. If they’d driven there they may not have seen the car, since the highway is surrounded by thick vegetation. But from the air, it was impossible to miss. Tony immediately began the frantic drive out to the site. The family recognized the car instantly and landed next to the wreck.
Samuel was trapped in the car and wasn’t moving. When emergency services arrived on the scene, that had to cut the vehicle open to pull Samuel from the wreckage. Fighting for his life, trapped in his vehicle for what was nearing 30 hours, Samuel was dehydrated and suffering serious injuries. “He spoke to me when I got down to the car,” Tony Lethbridge said. “I grabbed him and I said: ‘Mate, dad’s got you’.
Samuel’s first words to his father were: “I’d love a drink”. At the hospital, they discovered he had a broken arm and injuries on his legs and back. A broken thigh bone was protruding three inches through the skin. The Lethbridge family started an online fundraiser for Samuel’s recovering and praising Tony as the hero dad he is. Great job Dad! You saved his life. You should always trust your gut instincts!