New Bloomfield boy saves brother from branch

Bryan McGrath, 11, was hit in the mouth by a falling branch moments after pushing his brother out of the way. McGrath's mother says his actions saved his brother's life.

An 11-year-old boy is recovering Sunday evening after he saved his brother from a falling branch during Saturday night's storm.

Bryan McGrath and his family had just returned home around 10 p.m. when high winds broke a branch off a tree in their front yard.

"My little brother was behind me," Bryan told KRCG 13. "Something told me to push him."

Bryan did not see the branch but heard it and pushed his brother, Tyler Locke, 7, out of the way. The falling branch hit Bryan in the mouth.

Bryan said he did not at first realize he had been hit. He said the next thing he knew, his brother started screaming and ran over to press a shirt against his mouth. Tyler said he did not know until then why his brother had pushed him.

Bryan's mother, Starr Locke, said Bryan needed 47 stitches and extensive reconstructive surgery at a Columbia hospital, procedures that lasted into the early morning. She said doctors told her Bryan's actions saved Tyler's life.

"If he hadn't pushed him, they told us we would be making funeral arrangements right now," Locke said.

Bryan said he plans on returning to school Monday as long as the swelling goes down.