“I’m sure there were angels there among us helping him,” his mother, Lora Clark, said in a phone interview. “It was God’s moment. It was unbelievable. He honestly saved that man’s life. If [Zac] wasn’t home, there was no one else out in the neighborhood.”
Clark was helping his mother spread mulch in their front yard when they heard a bang and screams from across the street.
“So I ran over there without hesitating, and I saw that he was struggling and screaming for help,” he said. “First thing that came to mind was, ‘I got to get the car off of him.’ ”
The neighbor’s head and shoulders were stuck beneath the vehicle, and the undercarriage had scraped and bloodied his forehead. The side of the car was crushing his ribs.
“I just thought to myself, ‘This is not good,’ ” Lora Clark said. “I’m trying to lift the car, and I’m going, ‘This thing is heavy.’ ”
Then Zac Clark stepped up to the car, bent low and gripped the vehicle with his forearms.
“I could just see the determination in his face,” his mother said.
“In the moment, I did not think I could have done that,” he said.
But he succeeded in lifting the car, which weighs more than 3,000 pounds, just enough that his mother and his neighbor’s wife could drag the man, who is in his 30s, to safety.
His miraculous lift saved his neighbor from a potentially catastrophic injury, Lora Clark said the neighbor told her. She went by to knock on the door Sunday afternoon expecting the man to still be in the hospital. Instead, he answered the door. Just a scraped-up forehead and a few cracked ribs, he told her.
Zac is recovering from the heavy lift, too. He missed half a day of school Monday for a chiropractor’s appointment to work on his sore back and legs. His feat is the talk of the school since football coach Dave Carroll posted about the act of heroism on the team Facebook page.
Before Saturday, Clark’s personal record for a squat was 350 pounds; for a dead lift, it was just a hair more than 400 pounds. Now both records are simply a four-door sedan.
He began lifting with his father, Rodney, when he started high school to muscle up for tougher competition. Clark wrestles during the winter and catches for the baseball team. His dad had coached him and his older brother their whole lives.
But Rodney died unexpectedly in July 2018 while the family was traveling for a baseball tournament. Zac and his brother became “my rocks,” Lora Clark said.
After emergency personnel arrived Saturday to help their neighbor, Clark told his mother, “I wanted to save another dad.”
“I thank God for putting me in that situation and giving me the strength to do something like that,” he said. “I’ve just been trying to be the best physically and mentally person I could be.”
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