LEE’S SUMMIT, Mo. — A pregnant woman has a Chiefs legend to thank for her rescue on Tuesday, one of dozens of people rescued from flood waters following historic rains. Neil Smith recorded 592 tackles in his 13-year NFL career, including 104 sacks, but on Tuesday he “tackled” something much more important.
The former Chiefs star put on a hard rush to help a woman in her minivan caught in rising water. The former defensive end who made his life in the trenches said he wasn`t going to let waist-high water stop him from getting to that stranded driver.
“I was just right in the right place at the right time,” Smith told FOX 4’s Dave D’Marko during an exclusive interview.
Heavy rains covered NE Anderson Drive as drivers tried to make their way to Voy Spears Elementary.
“It was quite a bit of mess, parking lot was under water,” said Tom Phillips, Director of Public Safety at Blue Springs Schools.
“Then I kept going like everyone else was trying to and it was completely across the road and you couldn`t see sidewalks or anything,” parent Trisha Johnson described.
So Blue Springs Schools had to shuttle students in a back way from a nearby pool. By the school day`s end the waters had receded enough to get to the school from the East, only Anderson over nearby Maybrook Creek remained closed.
But that didn`t stop one driver.
“When I came out there this lady, she was driving and I couldn`t believe she was in there and she just got to the point where the car stalled,” Smith said.
That`s when a familiar face in a 6`4″ frame came to her rescue.
“She was in there, I didn`t know if she had kids, because she was about nine-months pregnant and she was very short, so I had to walk her out of there,” Smith recalled.
The man who spent his NFL career trying to get around blockers to sack the quarterback said he has this advice for drivers after witnessing nature`s fury:
“People tell you do not go around those barricades when you see water, just stop turn around.”
The woman pulled from that van declined an interview, so it’s unknown if she knew who her famous rescuer was.