First off, folks, a disclaimer: Don’t try this at home. Really. Please don’t.
Chelsea Casey was driving home from the hospital when she saw something strange in the road ahead on Burley’s Hiland Avenue. So she did what you’d expect in 2017: She took a video and posted it online.
“We saw something crazy today in Burley, ID,” she wrote.
The video, taken from Casey’s passenger-seat view, shows a small Honda driving behind a truck. Inside the truck bed is one teenage boy holding the ankles of another as he stretches between the two vehicles, his fingers wedged on the hood of the Honda.
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Casey posted the video on March 30. By Tuesday morning it had nearly 300,000 views on Facebook and almost 4,700 shares.
“That was a kid, holding onto a car, being held on from another car. That’s how they’re towing,” Casey says with a chuckle in the video, titled “Human Tow Strap” when it was also posted on YouTube.
Noe Alvarez, 18, took issue with that assessment. Alvarez was the “kid holding onto a car, being held on from another car,” and after coming across Casey’s viral video, he commented to let her know that’s not quite how the situation played out.
“You have the story all wrong, just saying,” Alvarez wrote. “We were pushing the truck with the car. The truck ran out of gas, so I laid on top of the hood of the car and put my feet on the truck to push.”
Alvarez told the Statesman he was stretched between the two cars for about five minutes as he and a handful of friends pushed the Chevy S-10 to a nearby gas station. He said they could have been going as fast as 20 mph; the speed limit in that area of Hiland is 25.
“It was just in the moment, us being lazy. We want to work smarter not harder,” he said, explaining that the friends debated pushing the truck to a gas station by hand before opting for the more dangerous human push bar route.
And why not, say, just fetch gas in a can? Alvarez’s excuse: They didn’t have one.
“It wasn’t too bad,” Alvarez said. “I was just scared my foot would get broken.”
The teenager came away with no injuries. He said he and his friends weren’t worried about being pulled over by police for what was almost certainly a driving violation.
Alvarez said the response from friends, family and peers at school has been mostly positive, if a little playfully harsh. He said his mom has seen the video and just laughed.
“People are like, ‘You guys are getting famous for something dumb,’” Alvarez said.
The comments on Casey’s post were slightly less forgiving at times: “Omg, mama said stupid is (as) stupid does,” wrote one commenter. “It’s all fun and games until someone falls off, getting run over...,” wrote another. “Ya can’t afford a tow strap? Can you afford to die?” said a third.
Still, dozens of other comments on Casey’s post hailed the teens as great improvisers or jokingly tagged their friends, floating the boys’ idea as a possible solution the next time their own cars break down. Alvarez wouldn’t recommend it.
“Get a tow rope and don’t do it like we did,” Alvarez said.