Girl's Tearful Facebook Post Saves Trapped Dad

Brianna Vance went online when tree fell on her front porch

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 16, 2014 4:35 PM CDT

(Newser) – A West Virginia girl sprung into action last Tuesday when a lightning-struck tree landed on her family's porch, trapping her father and his two friends, ABC News reports. "I was scared," said 10-year-old Brianna Vance. "I needed help. My dad needed help." There was no landline in the house, and the storm had knocked out cellphone signals, but somehow she got online anyway. Fighting back tears, she posted a video message on Facebook:

  • "The lightning crashed and hit a tree by our porch and my dad’s almost dead. He needs an ambulance please. Please call one for us if you have a signal. We live in a yellow house, a trailer."

Soon firefighters showed up and rescued Brianna's dad, Gregory Vance, who was hospitalized with several broken bones, WOWK-TV reports. Luckily he was able to come home Saturday and spend Father's Day with his children as he continued his recovery, reports MyFox Philly. "If she would have been there [on the porch] a little bit longer and it would have hit her," he said. "The pain of burying one of my children, I could not bear that, but I can handle this pain." A fire department official calls her "the real hero," but Inquisitr reports that some are wondering how she got online when communication lines were down. (For social media's downside, read about a woman who met a guy on Facebook—who then buried her alive.)

Lightning crosses the sky in this 2014 file photo.   (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
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A Good Morning America report on Brianna Vance's story.   (YouTube)

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