A frantic and desperate dad from Australia spent $800 ($1000 AU) to hire a helicopter to find his missing son.
He had a gut feeling his teenager’s car crashed and the boy might be injured somewhere, where no one could spot the accident.
Tony Lethbridge’s 17-year-old son, Samuel, was driving to his girlfriend’s place in a nearby town one Sunday.
But when no one heard from him after 24 hours, the family got extremely worried.
The dad, along with his wife Lee, went to the police to file a missing person’s report. However, they were told many other reasons why the teenager hasn’t come home.
The police even suggested that Samuel might have ran away and told the Lethbridge to go home and wait since there were no reports of any accidents or incidents in the Gosford area off the Central Coast in Lake Macquarie.
But the worried parents knew this was not the case, as it’s not in Samuel’s nature run off.
Tony also cannot shake off this image in his head that Samuel was lying on the ground.
Apparently, he remembered an accident that happened a few years ago in the same area where his son was driving. The person in the car died because he was not seen for five days.
Cars falling off the road in that area cannot be spotted because it is bushy and lush with plants. The father recalled that the only way to see something was from the air.
So, relying on his instincts, Tony pooled enough money to hire a helicopter from the Skyline Aviation Group.
Michael Lethbridge, Tony’s brother and Samuel’s uncle, flew on behalf of Tony since the dad is actually uncomfortable with flying.
According to the helicopter pilot Lee Mitchell, Tony was quite sure where his son would be and gave instructions on where to look.
Sure enough, they found Samuel’s car within 10 minutes of being up in the air. The pilot confirmed the dad’s gut that the area was not going to be visible from the road.
If Tony didn’t think of hiring a chopper, Samuel was definitely going to be left for dead.
From the helicopter, Michael immediately sent his brother a text to confirm they have spotted the boy’s car.
It crashed somewhere in the Pacific Highway at the Crangan Bay.
Rescuers, along with Tony’s brother, rushed to the scene of the accident. Michael was relieved to discover that, despite the crash, Samuel was still alive.
However, Samuel was trapped in the car and had fractures everywhere.
It took the rescuers a few more hours to free him because they had to be careful not to aggravate the boy’s injuries.
At the hospital, doctors said that Samuel was also dehydrated after having been trapped for 30 hours.
But despite the fractures and the dehydration, his medical prognosis was pretty hopeful.
In the worst case, Samuel was just going to need a series of physiology treatments once he’s cleared at the hospital.
Meanwhile, the Skyline Aviation Group returned the money Tony paid them to help find his son.
A spokesperson for the company said that the family could use the money better for Samuel’s surgeries and treatments.