OAKDALE, California (KCRA) — An Oakdale family is praising their teenage son for helping free his father earlier this month after being trapped underneath the truck they were working on.

Matthew Wilkinson said despite getting home late on what should have been a normal Monday night, he couldn’t put off working on the breaks on his work truck. When his teenage son came out to check on him, he enlisted his help, he said. Working on the vehicle, he said, was something they’d done many times before.

This time, however, the rotor was stuck.

“I couldn’t get a good angle, so I slid my body underneath the truck and was hitting it,” he said. “The second it popped off, the truck fell. I know it rolled forward because I saw it roll forward and it fell right on top of me. All I could think about was the breath coming out of me. I was just squished. I couldn’t talk. I couldn’t yell.”

The family’s home security camera captured the terrifying moment. The accident left Wilkinson with a punctured lung, broken ribs and a separated shoulder. But while he was in the hospital, he said he couldn’t figure out how he had managed to free himself.

“All this time in the hospital, I’m trying to figure out how did I get out from under the truck,” he said.

It was then, he said, he remembered the surveillance cameras.

“I called my kid and had him look at them look at the surveillance camera and they realized that he had lifted the truck enough for me to roll out,” he said.

At 15, Dalin Wilkinson is a freshman at Oakdale High School. He regularly helps his dad out with work on the vehicle.

“It just dropped right on him. I was scared. I heard him make a noise like his soul was leaving his body. It was crazy,” Dalin Wilkinson said. “I just ran over and tried as hard as I could to get it up enough to get him out.”

It was enough.

“My son is my hero. He saved my life,” said his father.

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