College Football Player Saves Dad’s Life, Loses Leg

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SCOTT TOWNSHIP -- Tyler Kapinus played on the 2011 district championship Valley View football team. Big #44 was bruising and a bright spot for the Cougars that year. The same can be said with the time with the Warriors of Lycoming College. Tyler loved the challenge in the classroom and the competitive edge it took to play fullback in Division III.

"Coach Howanitz was really good to all of us and all of my buddies we are still really close to this day. It's hard to believe it was already as long as it was, but our championship run was awesome back in 2011," said Tyler.

As Tyler was set to start this fall at fullback for head coach Mike Clark this being Tyler's senior year he would often come home to Peckville and spend time with his dad Mike who runs a local excavating business. It was Monday May 11th and Tyler and his Dad we're at Saint Mary's cemetery in Scott Township Lackawanna County when they started having trouble with the truck they we're using.

"We actually don't know what happened. The truck rolled away, and I was under the truck and he put his own life at risk," said Mike Kapinus.

"It just happened so fast. The truck broke. I tried to hang onto it. the truck just broke. I tried to stop it from rolling, unfortunately I was unsuccessful at that," again said Tyler.

Scott Township patrolman Ed Frescoln was one of the first responders on the scene that Monday.

"Myself and Chief Ganz arrived to Saint Mary's Cemetery and we had two subjects down on the ground. One had a very bad head injury and the other Tyler Kapinus had a very bad leg injury," said Ed.

Having saved his father's life Tyler was now in a fight to save his right leg. The truck rolled up on him and pinned him against a tree.

"As best as I can recall we had EMS crews on scene pretty fast so it was just trying to keep him calm and try to control the bleeding," added Ed.

Emergency crews rushed the pair to Community Medical Center in Scranton. Days later Tyler's right leg was amputated.

"He did save my life but he ended up losing his leg in the process, but he is very strong and he said he would do it again," added Mike.

One of the first phone calls Tyler made after the accident was to his former high school football coach here at Valley View George Howanitz.

"Tyler is a very unselfish person... selfless person and that came out. In may I mean he gave up a leg to save his father and I'm sure he would have done it for anybody.  That is just kind of kid he is," said George.

After two months of rehabilitation at Allied, Tyler received his prosthetic leg on August 10th and then joined the Lycoming Warriors as an assistant coach.

"How they've handled it is remarkable. You know Tyler's attitude from the beginning is amazing has been amazing. He set a goal of being back here and coming in with the team and coaching with us. You are always a little skeptical when you hear those things, but for him to go through what he went through and to be here on time is inspiring," said Mike.

"Yes it has given me some new life. I have been able to get around good at practice now. Getting better and better on it every day and every day is getting easier," added Tyler.

"Oh! He is a true hero. Just a great kid, tough and my wife summed it up. He plays at Lycoming. Their warriors and he is true warrior," added Mike.

Lycoming travels to face Susquehanna Saturday September 5th.

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