VIDEO: Teen Saves Father after Boulder Falls on Him in Idaho Wilderness
EAGLE, Idaho (KTVB) -- After his father was badly injured by a falling boulder in the Idaho backcountry, an Eagle teenager did everything in his power to make sure they both made it out alive. Charlie Wilstead Finlayson just started 8th grade at Eagle Middle School. The 13-year-old is a Boy Scout and loves the wilderness. Last week, his survival skills were put to the test after a scary situation in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness. The teen was on a backpacking trip with his father, David Finlayson, a criminal defense attorney who lives in Utah. The two often take such trips together. A week into the trip, the two set up camp at Ship Island Lake. It's a remote area where they planned to do some climbing. But on Monday, Aug. 17, plans changed dramatically. While Charlie's dad was scouting out where to climb next, a refrigerator-sized boulder came loose and hit him. The 52-year-old's left arm and leg were broken and he had a large gash on his shin. The bone was showing through. The Boy Scout did what he's been taught to do. Charlie grabbed the first-aid kit the two had brought and helped bandage the open wound. He then ran a mile back to camp and grabbed sleeping bags and warm clothes. The next day, Charlie helped keep his dad fed and hydrated. The two made a slow trip back to their camp site over lots of boulders. David Finlayson dragged himself there. As luck would have it, Charlie ran into two members of his own LDS church just three miles down the trail. They headed up to stay with his dad. Charlie kept hiking and eventually, he found another man who ended up running the next eight miles to call for help. Charlie hiked the rest of the way out. Because David was so far down the trail, the Lemhi County Sheriff's Office called in a helicopter crew from Montana to lift him to safety. He's since had two surgeries and he told KTVB more will be needed.