Missouri Western players save toddler

Updated: September 6, 2011, 3:37 PM ET
Associated Press

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. -- Two Missouri Western football players have made a family fans for life after pulling a toddler out of a locked car on a day when temperatures reached 95 degrees.

Defensive backs Jack Long and Shane Simpson were driving away from football practice on Aug. 23 when they saw a woman frantically beating on the window of a car. They decided to turn around and see if they could help.

"We thought she maybe had locked her keys in the car, but then thought that was kind of an extreme thing to do for keys," said Long.

When they stopped, Teresa Gall told them she had accidentally locked her 17-month-old grandson, Liam, in the car -- with the keys.

"I was panicked and horrified," Gall told KSHB-TV. "He was crying and getting sick, and I couldn't get to him."

She and other family members weren't able to break the window while Liam was throwing up and beginning to lose consciousness.

"I couldn't believe it. We were hitting the glass as hard as we could and nothing," Gall said. "All I could think was 'God please send somebody.' "

Simpson broke the window with one swing and Liam was rescued from the car. He was dehydrated but otherwise fine.

Gall offered the players money but they declined. They invited Gall to the Griffons' opening game on Sept. 1. Gall, who said she knows nothing about football, brought Liam to practice two days before the game and then she and several family members cheered for Missouri Western at the game.


Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press