Local youth named “Hometown Hero” after saving his father after shop accident

By: Terry Simpson
Heroes come in all forms — but to one Tompkinsville man, his 10 year-old son will always be his hero.
Because, as WBKO featured this past week with their Hometown Hero series, Ashton Graves is truly a hero.
Chris Graves of Tompkinsville can’t help but brag on his boys for a moment while standing in his kitchen fixing himself something to drink before heading back out to his shop to work. He has a slight limp but it doesn’t slow him down. He has a job to do.
He speaks of his work ethic that he has passed on to his sons. He says, “I know they are mine but they are good boys. I am privileged to have them. They have chores and they are expected to do them. I am proud of them and I know they will be okay if something were to happen to me, if I weren’t here anymore.”
But something did happen to Graves back in May  to demonstrate that his boys could react and help if they were needed. Graves noted if it wasn’t for his youngest son, Ashton, he might not be here telling his story today.
On that fateful day, Graves was working on the axles of a cattle trailer with his 14 year-old Andrew.
He had stopped for a break to take Andrew to a friend’s house and when he came back it was just he and Ashton at the house.
“We had the front axles on and were starting on the back when the whole trailer just fell. I was laying on my side and it fell on me. I was gasping for air and managed to yell ‘jack’ to Ashton.”
Ashton’s grandfather, Willie Graves, standing alongside his son in the kitchen, exclaimed, “I don’t know how he did it. He stayed calm and took care of everything, then called 911. I would have probably panicked myself.”
Ashton’s dad said the youngster was able to grab the jack and get the trailer jacked up and then moved the wheel with the hub still in it.
Graves, spoke of his son with obvious pride, saying how the boy had taken care of him even after the accident. “I was in a recliner for weeks even after coming home from the hospital. I couldn’t do anything.
With the help of family and friends, the boys helped take care of their dad.
“They ran this house and never once complained. All Ashton ever asked for was a trip to La Tias.”
Ashton was recently selected to be honored by WBKO in Bowling Green, as a “Hometown Hero,” for saving his fathers life. His grandfather Jerry Pitcock said he was very proud of Ashton and wanted him recognized and did  everything he could to make it happen.
It was obvious where the boys get their attitude as Chris stepped outside eager to get back to work, while awaiting the arrival of the WBKO reporters, just as an out-of-breath little boy ran past him into the kitchen.
When asked about the heroic actions he performed, Ashton noted, “I didn’t really have a choice and I didn’t think about it. The tire, I didn’t really pick it up, I scooted it. At the time I didn’t think it was that heavy. The trailer was much easier to jack up at that time too,” he realized, stating that a month or so after the accident he had to do it again and it was much harder at that time. Luckily, adrenaline had kicked in for the situation.
During that split second he reacted, decided between two jacks of the better choice, stayed calm, did what needed to be done and then called for help from adults.
Willie and Ashton stepped outside to find his mother, grandparents, reporters and Monroe County Deputy Sheriff Ricky Richardson.
Richardson  explained to reporters how proud he was of Ashton, saying that when he arrived several first responders and officers were already on the scene.
“They all think a lot of Chris and they heard the call and came right away,” Richardson added.
Michelle Graves, Ashton’s mother, told reporters how shocked she was to receive the call from her son that day. “I had just walked in from work when he called. It was just like he was telling a story.
“He said, ‘Mom, a trailer fell on dad and we are taking him to the hospital. When I realized what was going on I told him he was in the right place at the right time and he saved his daddy’s life.”
She continued, “He was so calm. He has always wanted to be a firefighter. His ability to remain calm and act, especially with a family member, shows he will make a great fireman or EMT someday,” she added.
She also pointed out that Ashton had been recognized at school for his heroism. On the last day of school as he was receiving an award for perfect attendance, Carter Elementary Principal Jeff Blythe surprised him by announcing his act of bravery.
As everyone was looking at a similar trailer on the property during the interview and discussing the severity of the accident, Ashton disappeared for a few minutes.
He returned, once again out of breath and excited, with a token of appreciation he had received from his father —  dog tags inscribed “My son, My hero.”
The two sat in their garage for just a moment reflecting on that day and again Graves spoke of both of his sons, and how proud he was of them. Ashton just smiled that shy little grin.
As everyone was leaving the question, of course, came up — did Ashton ever get his La Tia request fulfilled, to which his dad replied “Oh yes! It took a bit before I was able to go but he got his La Tias!”

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