Idaho boy saves father after boulder crushes him during camping trip

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FRANK-CHURCH RIVER, Idaho – Charlie Finlayson is only 13, but had to step up to help his father, David Finlayson, in a time of distress last week.

According to PEOPLE, David and Charlie were in the middle of a 12-day hike through No Return Wilderness in Idaho last week when things took a turn for the worst.

David was struck by a rolling boulder, which sent him spiraling downhill nearly 30 feet. He broke his back, heel, arm and had a large open wound in his leg.

But Charlie knew he had to take control of the situation and save his father.

“I saw him lying there and I was pretty scared,” Charlie told PEOPLE. “But after a minute, I realized I would have to calm down or I’d make the situation worse. So I took a deep breath and thought, ‘Okay, I have to do this. My dad’s in serious trouble. And it’s up to me to help him.’ ”

They were about a mile from their campsite, but Charlie was able to use his Boy Scout skills to bandage his father’s wound and return to camp for food, water and sleeping bags.

The next morning, they slowly began the journey towards the lake and once they arrived, Charlie set out to find other campers for help.

When Charlie reached campers, one offered to run 8 miles to the main campground to alert authorities. Charlie followed him the entire way.

When help reached David, he was airlifted to a hospital and treated for his injuries. He is now recovering.

“I’m in pain, but I’m grateful to be alive,” David said. “I owe it all to Charlie.”

Charlie insists he isn’t a hero and did what anyone would.

“I just did what I had to do,” he told PEOPLE. “I don’t feel like I need all this attention. Anybody would have done the same thing.”

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