Daughter Lifts Jeep: How Did Rachael Simmons Move A 5600-Pound SUV?

on July 11, 2013 5:10 PM EDT

A 22-year-old daughter lifted a Jeep off of her father, who was pinned by the leg by the SUV, in an apparent act of superhuman strength. (Photo: Flickr: lfl)

A 22-year-old Boston woman was able to lift a 5,600 pound Jeep off of her father, in an amazing feat of adrenaline-fueled strength.   

Adam Simmons was repairing the brakes on his daughter Rachael's Jeep Liberty on Sunday morning when jacks holding up the Jeep collapsed, bringing the SUV down onto his leg.

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Simmons began to scream, and eventually Rachael came outside to find her father pinned under the Jeep. Rachael didn't know how she could help her father in the immediate, so she just tried lifting the car.

"I just lifted so he could get free," Rachael Simmons said. "It was just the adrenaline rushing right through my body. I don't know if I would have been able to do it otherwise."

Adam Simmons was taken to the hospital, where doctors determined he had no broken bones. If his daughter hadn't lifted the Jeep off of him, doctors said, artery and blood flow might have been restricted, causing serious problems.

Adam Simmons ended up escaping from under the Jeep with only bruising. His daughter has a sore back from lifting the Jeep.

"I don't know what I would have done without her," Adam Simmons said. "She never even thought twice about it. She was on fire."

People lifting vehicles or huge objects off trapped people, colloquially referred to as superhuman strength, is a medical phenomenon called hysterical strength. Nobody knows exactly how these adrenaline episodes work, and there haven't been studies into the phenomenon.

One theory is that humans only used a small percentage of our muscular capabilities in everyday life. When danger occurs, humans received a rush of adrenaline and oxygen that allows muscles to operate at elevated levels of strength not normally accessible to humans under normal circumstances. 

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