AUGUST 30, 2011: Missouri Western football players Jack Long (L) and Shane Simpson (M) play with 17-month-old Liam Snook, who the two saved from inside a hot car in St. Joseph a week earlier.
Copyright: Missouri Western State University (Used with permission)
ST. JOSEPH, Mo. - Park Hill South High School graduate Jack Long likes to play the video game ‘Call of Duty’ and his favorite movie is ‘Role Models.’
The titles of his favorites, listed on his Missouri Western player profile page, only seem fitting after he and football teammate Shane Simpson, from Blue Springs South, helped save the life of a 17-month-old boy who was trapped inside a hot car.
The pair of defensive backs was leaving practice in St. Joseph on Tuesday, Aug. 23, when they noticed a woman frantically trying to get inside a parked car on Leonard Street, right across the street from Missouri Western's campus.
"We just saw this woman beating on the car with a bat," said Long, an All-Conference running back and defensive back at Park Hill South. "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."
Turns out he was right. Teresa Gall was babysitting her grandson Liam, and when she was packing her car to take him home, she accidentally locked her keys in the car with Liam inside. The high temperature that day in St. Joseph reached 95 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.
"I was panicked, and horrified," Gall recalled. "He was crying and getting sick, and I couldn't get to him."
Gall got a hammer and was trying to smash the window of her car, but she couldn’t break the glass. Liam was throwing up and was 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'.”
About then is when Long and Simpson drove by. They turned around and got out to a frantic Gall pleading for help.
Simpson took the hammer and broke the window with one swing, then pulled Liam out of the hot car.
Liam was a little dehydrated, but was otherwise okay.
Gall offered to give money to the players, who both came to Missouri Western after graduating high school in 2007, but they declined, saying they just wanted her to come to their season-opening game.
Gall did bring Liam and other family members to the Missouri Western game on Sept. 1, but two days earlier, they met at practice for the first time since Long and Simpson saved Liam's life.
For more on this story, check out the video below.
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