Skip to content

College football lineman lifts car to save man’s life

Jun 24, 2011, 1:16 PM EDT

DanousEstenor

If I have to be pinned beneath an automobile, I think I would most like to have a bear within shouting distance. “Can you lift the back bumper, bear?” Failing that, my second choice is University of South Florida lineman Danous Estenor.

Estenor, a 6-foot-3, 295-pound offensive lineman, had stopped at the Bulls Den Cafe on the USF campus and was getting out of his car when he heard a woman screaming. Her husband, a tow truck driver, was pinned under the tire of a car he had been working on. The wife and two other men could not lift it to get him out.

“I just see his legs,” said Estenor, 21, a child of Haitian immigrants from Palm Beach. “The car is crushing him. He’s not moving. I’m thinking, ‘Oh, God, this guy is going to die.’ “

“I tried to lift the car, and when I first tried, it didn’t budge. I backed up. I don’t know. But I felt this energy come, and I lifted it. I don’t know how, but somebody pulled him from the car.”

But that’s not all:

That night he told his roommates, offensive tackles Jamar Bass and Damien Edwards. “Did this really just happen?” he asked. Teammates the next morning didn’t believe him. But one day after spring practice, coach Skip Holtz asked Estenor to stand in front of the team.

“I wanted to let you know that Danous is a real hero,” began the letter written by Jodi Rivera, manager of the Bulls Den Cafe, and read by Holtz. The letter closed with, “I know in my heart that without Danous there, the driver may not have survived the night. His quick thinking, willingness to help and strength saved that man’s life.”

“Unbelievable story,” Holtz said last week. “What a phenomenal story. Not all of us can lift a car. I’d be over there going (strains, laughing), ‘Um, call the ambulance.’ And Danous just walked away? I can totally see that. Just humble, quiet, keeps to himself.”

By the way, the Cadillac Seville that Estenor lifted weighs roughly 3,500 pounds. And how much did you say you could bench press in college?

***
USF Bulls offensive lineman Danous Estenor lifts car to free trapped man [St. Petersburg Times]

Latest Posts
  1. Turning out the lights…..

    Mar 31, 2013, 10:37 AM EDT

    super-bowl-black-out Getty Images

    Since this will be the final post in the history of Off The Bench, I feel that this post can’t just be a simple post about an NFL player buying segways for his teammates or an improbable buzzer beater from a high school basketball game. I’d like to echo the sentiments that Rick featured in…

  2. Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels has one epic mustache (picture)

    Mar 31, 2013, 7:13 AM EDT

    Comments Off
    images Getty Images

    As Opening Day of Major League Baseball is just around the corner, Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels will be getting the starting nod against the Atlanta Braves. If you have been following the Phillies during spring training, you might have noticed that Hamels has been growing a rather impressive mustache. Below are just some photos…

  3. ‘Triple your fun’, Vanderbilt baseball team pulls off triple steal (video)

    Mar 30, 2013, 12:16 PM EDT

    Comments Off
    Screen Shot 2013-03-29 at 9.22.30 AM

    Back in 2012, Vanderbilt University’s baseball team pulled off a successful triple steal in a game against Florida in the SEC Tournament. Earlier this week, Vanderbilt pulled off that rare feat again in a non-conference game against Lipscomb University. With runners on first and second, Commodore manager Tim Corbin called for the steal and before…

  4. Mexican soccer fans pelt USA fans with beer during World Cup qualifier

    Mar 30, 2013, 9:04 AM EDT

    Comments Off
    Screen Shot 2013-03-29 at 9.07.03 AM

    Back on Tuesday, the United States men’s soccer team traveled to Azteca Stadium to face Mexico in a World Cup Qualifying match. After the match ended in a draw, a group of happy United States fans celebrated the 0-0 score in the upper deck of the Azteca. As chants of USA got louder and louder,…

  5. So long folks, it’s time for me to take off

    Mar 28, 2013, 8:00 AM EDT

    helicoptercat Reuters

    In case you haven’t heard, Easter Sunday is the final day of Off the Bench: this blog will cease operations as of 11:59 p.m. on that date. So the day after March 31, there will be no new posts on this blog. The timing is fine: I see no reason people would wake the next…

  6. Prediction Machine tells us who wins in a game between the ’13 Miami Heat and the ’72 LA Lakers

    Mar 27, 2013, 3:19 PM EDT

    LeBronWilt Getty Images

    So the Miami Heat have won 27 straight, and have an excellent chance of breaking the NBA record for consecutive wins, 33, set by the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers. Here’s a pretty good breakdown comparing the two teams. But if you’re like me, it’s not enough to know that Thor and Hercules were both very…

  7. Breaking: Jim Belushi not good at hockey (video)

    Mar 26, 2013, 2:35 PM EDT

    JimBelushiHockey

    Life as a lesser Belushi can be frustrating at times, I’d imagine: even though you occasionally get to be in films like Trading Places and be married to Courtney Thorne-Smith. Also you get to participate in Shoot-the-Puck contests at Chicago Blackhawks games. Jim Belushi was born in Chicago, so I sure hope he makes this…

  8. This loss stung more than most: Lauren Davis encounters angry wasp at Sony Open

    Mar 25, 2013, 5:39 PM EDT

    2013 Sony Open Tennis - Day 7 Getty Images

    If you’re a fan of vintage tennis posters — or, you know, hot chicks — the you may be familiar with ‘Tennis Girl’. That’s the photo of 18-year-old Fiona Butler showing her mostly bare backside, shot by her boyfriend, Martin Elliott, and made into an iconic, best-selling poster in the 1970s. Lauren Davis of the…

  9. Man wins full marathon while pushing his daughter in a baby stroller (video)

    Mar 25, 2013, 9:00 AM EDT

    Gusher Marathon AP

    But that’s not even the most incredible part of this story. Iram Leon, 32, won the 2013 Gusher Marathon in Beaumont, Texas on Saturday despite the fact that he has terminal brain cancer. He ran the entire race while pushing his 6-year-old daughter Kiana in a stroller, winning with a time of in 3:07:36. That’s…

  10. TCU’s new horned frog statue might scare the children (picture)

    Mar 24, 2013, 3:38 PM EDT

    tcu-mascot-3-by-4-getty-images-ssport-ethan-miller Getty Images

    Honestly, I didn’t think that a statue of a horned frog would scare me but the latest edition to the TCU football stadium might cause me to look under my bed for the next couple of days. On Saturday, TCU unveiled the newest edition to Amon G. Carter Stadium as a bronzed horned frog will…

  11. Craig Sager wears Cosby-style sweater to bar in Kansas City (picture)

    Mar 24, 2013, 10:55 AM EDT

    Comments Off
    craig-sager Getty Images

    There might not be a individual in sports known for his wacky fashion sense than Turner Sports sideline reporter Craig Sager. Over the years, Craig has provided the world and a bunch of NBA players cannon-fodder for his strange color combinations and for those of you who think that Craig just wears those zany outfits…

  12. Serbian basketball fan isn’t the greatest shooter but does know how to work a crowd (video)

    Mar 24, 2013, 8:33 AM EDT

    Comments Off
    Screen Shot 2013-03-22 at 4.37.27 PM

    At almost every college/professional basketball game these days, one lucky fan is brought out onto the court to win some sort of cash or prize by making a number of shots or a half-court shot. For most, the pressure is pretty high but for one Serbian basketball fan attending an Adriatic League basketball game between KK Igokea…

  13. Shane Victorino gets gift of Louboutin sneakers from Brandon Phillips

    Mar 23, 2013, 1:45 PM EDT

    Shane Victorino Getty Images

    After playing together for Team USA in the 2013 World Baseball Classic, it appears that Cincinnati Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips became fast friends with Boston Red Sox outfielder Shane Victorino. Back on Friday night, Phillips took to his Twitter account to show off a pair of size 6.5 Louboutin sneakers that he bought for…

  14. Florida International’s basketball court next season might resemble a beach (picture)

    Mar 23, 2013, 10:55 AM EDT

    Comments Off
    floridapalms Getty Images

    Over the last couple of years, it appears that college athletic programs have been trying to one up each other in trying to create the most creative-looking football field or basketball courts. Back on Wednesday, Florida International men’s basketball coach Richard Pitino revealed the latest possible crazy basketball court design on his Twitter account. The…

  15. Lock and load, it’s youth baseball fundraising time: league raffling off AR-15 rifle (video)

    Mar 23, 2013, 10:09 AM EDT

    LLAR14 Getty Images

    Over in Atwood, IL, all systems are go for a fundraiser in which an AR-15 rifle — the same type used in two recent school massacres — will be raffled off to benefit the local youth baseball league. According to the people involved this is all perfectly kosher, and one lucky fan will be heavily…

  16. Soccer goalie takes motorcycle ride back to his own net (video)

    Mar 23, 2013, 8:35 AM EDT

    Soccer Goalie

    While it’s normal for soccer goalies to come up on corner kicks to create an extra attacker, it isn’t normal for them to take motorcycle rides back to their own goal. Sadly, there isn’t a whole lot of information about the below video except for the fact that it occurs during a soccer match on…

  17. Harvard stripped of four National Quiz Bowl titles, is filled with shame

    Mar 22, 2013, 6:46 PM EDT

    Harvard banners hang outside Memorial Church on the Harvard Getty Images

    Bigger gathering of villainy: the cantina in Mos Eisly spaceport, or Harvard University? The basketball team may be riding high right now, but things are not going so swell back on campus. This past August Harvard officials announced that 125 students were under investigation for allegedly cheating on a take-home test. And now, Harvard has…

  18. Twitter chooses its latest villain: Mississippi’s Marshall Henderson

    Mar 22, 2013, 4:22 PM EDT

    Comments Off
    marshallhenderson AP

    Don’t those dual hair parts kind of resemble devil horns? Isn’t his trash-talking style kind of evil? Is his shot selection from the pit of hell? Yes, yes and yes. Every good story needs an antagonist, and the NCAA Basketball Tournament has theirs in Mississippi guard Marshall Henderson. What we have here is not exactly…

  19. Sim Bhullar is a large basketball player, and I mean it. Anybody want a peanut?

    Mar 21, 2013, 4:12 PM EDT

    Comments Off
    Sim Bhullar, Joel Wright AP

    Anybody wondering what Andre the Giant would have been like as a college basketball player, look no further than Sim Bhullar — New Mexico State’s 7-foot-5, 360-pound freshman from Toronto. Bhullar, the tallest player in college basketball, has 85 blocked shots and led the WAC in field goal percentage at 63.2 percent. Hey, it’s not…

  20. Ronald McDonald pregame hockey speech will supersize your spirit (video)

    Mar 20, 2013, 3:45 PM EDT

    Comments Off
    ronaldmcdonald

    This video proves once again that great champions are made to order, not born. The Allen Americans of the Central Hockey League, a Double-A affiliate of the Dallas Stars, had their Fourth Annual McDonald’s Night at Allen Event Center in Allen, TX, recently. This of course called for McDonald’s-themed uniforms (later auctioned for charity), but…