Twins 1st Mountain Trip Takes Tragic Turn When Grandpa Sacrifices His Life To Save One Of Them
Joshua Patton 10/22/2018
The struggle between man and nature is one that is played for keeps. Those who truly know the wilderness know it's dangerous. To them, the beauty and the connection you feel to the world is worth the risk. One man who believed this was the late Jerry Greenough of Edmond, Oklahoma.
Jerry lived a life full of love, but there were three things he seemed to love best of all: the mountains, his Jeep, and, most of all, his family.
If you were friends with Jerry on Facebook, he'd announce his trips to the mountain, sometimes in all-capital letters. He'd exclaim to the world, or at least as much of it as could be on Facebook, that the mountains were "calling" to him once again.
Over the past two decades, when he felt this urge he'd get into his Jeep, and he'd head up the same trail. Yet, the trip made last September was his final trip up the mountain. It will always to be a special trip, because Jerry's beloved twin grandsons, now 13, were finally old enough to go along with him and his son-in-law, Tony.
While driving back down the mountain, Jerry drove his Jeep with his grandson Austyn next to him. Austyn's twin brother Tyler was in the other car with his father. Suddenly, Jerry's Jeep caught on a rock. Experienced both as a drive and with the trail, Jerry revved the car to get over it.
Then tragedy struck. The Jeep tumbled down a cliffside, rolling until it crashed at the bottom. Tony and other passerby's stopped to help. Tony rappelled down the side of the cliff using his Jeep's winch. Austyn was rescued, but Jerry didn't make it.
Austyn told KFOR News that his Granddad wrapped him up in a bear hug as they tumbled. He bore the brunt of the worst impacts. Austyn suffered spinal injury as well, but he was alive. Soon he was back on his feet in a medical brace. He's home from the hospital now and should have a normal life, all thanks to his very special "Papa."
It hurts that he's gone, but they will always remember him for his selflessness, love, and joy he felt when out in the natural world.
Born in 1955, Jerry married his sweetheart Teresa in 1974, shortly after graduating from high school. They have two daughters, Amanda and Katie. A man of deep faith, Jerry served as an usher in his church for three decades. He most recently attended Victory Church.
His faith was clearly on display in his selfless act. He'd had less than an instant to react, and his first instinct was to protect his grandson, no matter the cost to himself. There truly is no greater love than laying down your life for someone you love.
Watch the touching interview with Jerry's daughter Amanda below: