Breaking News:


Teenagers rush to help Tooele couple after hearing cries for help at campground

Jun 17, 2024, 6:10 PM | Updated: Jun 18, 2024, 11:33 am

TOOELE — A group of teenagers are being thanked for rescuing a Tooele man experiencing a seizure and falling into an active firepit while camping.

On June 8, Joey Espinoza was sitting next to his wife, Leanna, when he started seizing and fell face-first into their campfire. With no cell service and no one close by, his wife started screaming for help.

A group of teenagers came to their rescue.

“I kind of heard some ‘Help. Like, help me,'” said James Brown. “And so, at first, we were kind of like a little skeptical just because people drive through the canyon and are doing all sorts of stuff.”

James Brown (left) and Nathan Gillet (right) recalling the rescue.

James Brown (left) and Nathan Gillet (right) recalling the rescue. (Shelby Lofton, KSL TV)

Brown said he and his friends just graduated high school and wanted to take a trip to Middle Canyon in Tooele County before taking off in different life directions.

Once they settled on a campsite, Brown heard screaming in the distance. They decided to jump into their truck and see what was happening.

About 250 yards away, the group found Espinoza and his wife.

“He was lying on the ground, so obviously, he was in distress,” said Zach Peterson, one of the teens in the group.

Peterson got his EMT certification in May and began to use what he learned to help Espinoza.

“The biggest worry that I had was that his throat was going to close, and he wasn’t gonna be able to breathe,” he said.

While Peterson assessed Espinoza, the rest of the teens began to split up to flag other campers for help.

“I think the craziest part about all is literally none of us talk to each other. Immediately, everyone just went and did something to be helpful,” Brenna Miller said.

Zach Petersen (left), Brenna Miller (middle), and James Brown (right)

The group also began to comfort his wife, who was showing symptoms of shock.

“I started talking to her to make sure she was okay because she was kind of showing some shock symptoms,” said Nathan Gillet.

The teens carefully loaded Espinoza into their truck and sped down the canyon.

“We all saw his hands and it was pretty, like loose skin. Yeah. It was just sliding up,” said Brown.

At the hospital, they tried to tell doctors what happened to the stranger. Espinoza also regained some consciousness.

“When we got him out of the car, he was like, ‘What happened?” Peterson said. “We just tell him, you know, ‘You’re okay, man.'”

“This whole time, we don’t know his name. We don’t know anything about them,” Miller added.

(Espinoza family)

Espinoza was transported to the University of Utah hospital, where he’s recovering. The group’s last-minute celebration took them in a direction they never expected.

Espinoza’s family said that had he been taken to the hospital 20 minutes later, it could’ve been a different outcome.

“I think we just did what anyone would have done if they were there,” Miller said.

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

Tooele County sheriff's deputies are investigating a shooting involving a 4-year-old who found a lo...

Pat Reavy,

4-year-old discovered gun, accidentally shot sibling, police say

Police are investigating an accidental shooting in a Tooele County home involving a 4-year-old who found a loaded gun.

7 minutes ago

Two people were hurt when this SUV rolled off I-15 near Perry on July 16, 2024. (Utah Highway Patro...

Josh Ellis

Two injured in rollover crash on I-15 in Box Elder County

Two people were seriously hurt after an SUV rolled off Interstate 15 in northern Utah early Tuesday morning.

1 hour ago

Power companies are not immune from the pressures of inflation and for us, that means we must pay m...

Matt Gephardt

How to save when higher energy costs have a third of Americans paying their power bills on credit

Power companies are not immune from the pressures of inflation and for us, that means we must pay more to keep our homes livable in these sweltering summer days. And those rising energy costs also trickle down onto us in other ways, i.e. an uptick in the cost of groceries as stores also have to pay more to keep the building cool.

9 hours ago

A woman is dead and her parents in critical condition after temperatures crossed a deadly threshold...

Kiersten Nunez

Young woman dies, parents critical after deadly hike in Snow Canyon

A deadly weekend for hikers in Utah has left three people dead in less than 48 hours, including a father and daughter in Canyonlands.

10 hours ago

Community members gathered on Monday to memorialize the teen killed in a West Valley shooting. (KSL...

Debbie Worthen

Community mourns loss of Judge Memorial athlete following West Valley shooting

Friends and family of a Judge Memorial high school student are mourning the loss of the 17-year-old after he was shot and killed this weekend.

10 hours ago

Department of Public Safety says the threats against state leaders is on the increase. (KSL TV)...

Darby Sparks

As Utah political threats rise, security measures becoming tighter, says DPS

The Department of Public Safety says threats in 2024 have already been high. Given the attempted assassination of a former president over the weekend, they say security measures could become even more rigid for political events locally.

11 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

young male technician is repairing a printer at office...

Les Olson

Unraveling the dilemma between leasing and buying office technology

Carefully weigh these pros and cons to make an informed decision that best suits your business growth and day-to-day operation. 

A kitchen in a modern farmhouse....

Lighting Design

A room-by-room lighting guide for your home

Bookmark this room-by-room lighting guide whenever you decide to upgrade your lighting or style a new home.

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Teenagers rush to help Tooele couple after hearing cries for help at campground