Sugar City boy says angels helped him save his dad after a car fell on him


8  Updated at 11:35 am, March 3rd, 2017 By: Nate Eaton,
Share This Story

EDITOR’S NOTE: is teaming up with the American Red Cross of Greater Idaho to honor ordinary individuals who have done extraordinary things to help others.

The 11 winners of the 2017 East Idaho Real Heroes awards were announced March 2. Each day will feature a different winner.

SUGAR CITY — An 8-year-old boy was honored Thursday for saving his father’s life after a car they were working on fell and crushed the man’s body.

J.T. Parker, his 17-year-old brother, Mason, and their father, Stephen Parker, were in the backyard of their Sugar City home when the accident happened July 30.

“We were pulling the engine out of the car, and after we got it jacked up, I climbed under there to take the axles off,” Stephen recalls. “The one axle came off pretty easily, but the other side wasn’t coming off.”

Mason and J.T. Parker were working on a Toyota Prius with their father, Stephen, when the car suddenly fell on top of Stephen. | Stephen Parker

Stephen went to adjust the axle and move the jack but suddenly, the Toyota Prius fell on him.

Mason had gone inside the house minutes earlier after cutting his hand, and the only person around was J.T.

“I yelled to J.T. on the other side of the car, ‘Jack it up quick! Jack it up quick!'” Stephen tells “I couldn’t move at all. I was totally trapped, and then I passed out. It was all in his hands, and I thought, ‘This is it. There’s no way he can jack up this car because it took my 17-year-old son and I both to jack it up the first time.”

J.T. immediately started to jump on the jack handle and try to lift the car off of his father. | Nate Eaton,

J.T., who weighs about 50 pounds, adjusted the jack and immediately started jumping up and down on the handle.

“It was scary, and I didn’t think that I could jack the car up, but I just kept on trying,” J.T. recalls.

For 15 minutes, he continually jumped on the jack handle as the car slowly raised off of his father.

Stephen says he can’t remember any of it.

“All I remember is I felt peace,” Stephen says. “I remember seeing white, like a nice happy day. The clouds were going by, and everything was happy and peaceful.”

After the car was off his dad, J.T. ran to get Mason, who called 911.

In the 911 call recording, obtained by, Mason forcefully tells his father that he needs to keep breathing.

“I know it hurts but you gotta do it,” Mason says. “Breathe! Breathe! Breathe!”

“I can’t,” Stephen responds.


As Stephen, Mason and J.T. waited for emergency responders, Stephen’s wife, Jodi, arrived home.

“When I got there, I saw my husband underneath a car,” Jodi says. “My heart just sank, and I didn’t know what to expect.”

A medical helicopter landed in the Parkers’ backyard and Stephen was flown to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center. | Stephen Parker

A medical helicopter landed in the Parkers’ yard, and Stephen was flown to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in critical condition.

“They did a bunch of scans on me, MRIs and EKGs, and all they found was 13 broken ribs,” Stephen says. “That’s all they found. Nothing internal was damaged. It was just a miracle.”

Two days later, Stephen went home.

A week later, J.T.’s parents recorded a video as they asked their son to jack up the heavy car again.

He couldn’t do it.

When asked why he thinks he could do it the day his father was trapped and where his strength came from, J.T. simply responds, “Angels.”

“We believe my grandpa, who passed on, and my sister who died were helping him,” Stephen says.

The American Red Cross of Greater Idaho selected J.T. as one of 11 “East Idaho Real Heroes” for 2017.

J.T. Parker receives his American Red Cross East Idaho Real Hero award during a ceremony Thursday. | Stephan Rockefeller,

During a luncheon Thursday, J.T. received a standing ovation as he walked to the stage to accept the award. He didn’t say much – just smiled and then sat back down with his family.

“This whole thing is a miracle. There’s no other way to describe it,” Jodi says. “There’s no way that little boy could have done that. I just felt that it was a responsibility we now have to tell people that miracles still exist.”

Stories You May Be Interested In:

Live United Concert Series kicks off Thursday

18 Jul 2017

Natalia Hepworth,

Man dead after rollover crash on I-15 near Inkom

13 Jul 2017 staff

  • Erma Clark

    So impressed by Mason he is the true hero by his words. What a great kid he is.

  • Matt R

    God little man. To have the presence of mind and tenacity to persevere without his dad being conscious is admirable.

  • calgarycowboy

    Glad everything turned out great …but was wondering why he didnt go get his brother 17 yrs old in the house to operate the jack instead of laboring 15 min

    • pooh_bear77

      I would guess that in that situation first he is very young and probably didn’t even think about going after his big brother and second he was probably only thinking about getting that car off his dad… If he had just ran inside for even a second things could have turned out much differently… That’s just my theory anyway….
      Great job on both boys parts. Had they not for the things they did as quickly as they did there faster may have died… So again good job to both boys!

  • Kimber Shooter

    Stephan said he believed his grandfather and his sister were helping, but J.T. got it absolutely, 100% correct. Angles are real,and they can manifest themselves in human form. I believe that ‘angles unaware’ helped J.T. get the car off of his father.

    • ked5

      his grandfather and sister were both deceased – and came back as angles to help.

  • Kenneth Schoonover

    Congrats JT and Mason! You guys did a wonderful job!

  • Kenneth Kellogg

    Anyone with a bit of sense NEVER gets under a vehicle without first placing a jackstand for support