Lifestyle & Human Interest

Powerlifter Saves Man Trapped Under Flipped 2-Ton SUV by Lifting It Off Him


A competitive weight lifter from Michigan made the most important lift of his life when he pulled a 2-ton SUV off a trapped motorist.

Ryan Belcher, 29, is a 350-pound powerlifter from Bellville, Michigan, who works out and trains at least five days a week.

He was getting ready to leave work on Feb. 14 when he heard a horrific sound outside.

Belcher ran to the scene and saw two vehicles in the middle of the road. A Jeep Cherokee had flipped upside down and a man was pinned underneath, screaming for help.

Belcher said four men were trying to move the Jeep, but it wouldn’t budge.

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“Half of his torso was outside of the vehicle and the other half was still underneath in the vehicle,” Belcher told WXYZ-TV.

“I had no other choice. It was either save a man or not believe in myself,” Belcher said. “So I just reached in did what I had to do.”

Belcher reached his forearms underneath a smashed out window and began to lift, moving the Jeep some three feet before he heard first responders tell him the man had been freed.

“I just jumped right in,” he said. “I seen a window that was broken out of the back of the vehicle and I knew if I can swing the vehicle in a certain direction I can free him from that pole. So, I just stuck my arms in and I don’t know I just grabbed it, lifted it up and started pushing and all I heard was that’s enough we can get him.”

Belcher believes he was meant to be at the crash site that day.

“OK, this is where I need to be,” he recalled thinking to himself.

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“This is all the power I’ve used, all the training I’ve been through, this is the time where it’s really going to pay off in a good way to help somebody.”

Days after the collision, Belcher had the chance to visit the hospital and meet Montrell Tinsley, the man he saved.

Belcher said the meeting was emotional for both men, as Tinsley repeatedly thanked him for saving his life.

“I got emotional when he told me that I saved his life,” Belcher told Muscle & Fitness. “I said, ‘I know man, I’m just glad that you’re alive.'”

“When I walked into the hallway, there were like eight nurses, and they told me that if I hadn’t been able to move the vehicle, he would’ve died smashed against that pole. It immediately brought tears to my eyes.”

In an interview with Fox & Friends, Belcher reported that Tinsley was in good spirits, though he has a long road of recovery ahead.

Tinsley told Belcher that once he was strong enough to leave the hospital, he wanted to start training alongside the man who saved his life.

“I’m humbled to be as strong as I am,” Belcher said on his Instagram page. “I’m thankful for the ability I’ve been Given!”

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A graduate of Grand Canyon University, Kim Davis has been writing for The Western Journal since 2015, focusing on lifestyle stories.
Kim Davis began writing for The Western Journal in 2015. Her primary topics cover family, faith, and women. She has experience as a copy editor for the online publication Thoughtful Women. Kim worked as an arts administrator for The Phoenix Symphony, writing music education curriculum and leading community engagement programs throughout the region. She holds a degree in music education from Grand Canyon University with a minor in eating tacos.
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