Frankfort teen named first 'Hobie's Hero'
To his family, he did what a big brother is supposed to do. But to others who saw the horrific crash and what Kaleb Siebert did afterwards, it seemed like much more.
"When you did what you did, you never thought of yourself," said legendary IU diving coach Hobie Billingsley, speaking to Kaleb during an award ceremony at Frankfort City Hall. "You were willing to give up your life for your sister. I have trouble talking about it. You are something else," Billingsley said during the award ceremony at the Frankfort City Hall.
Billingsley was talking about Kaleb's actions after a head-on collision on State Road 39 last June.
"I went to the grass and started rolling to get the fire out," remembered Kaleb's mother Kian Cleefman. "I could see out of the corner of my eye, I said, 'You need to get your sisters out.' I was helpless being on fire, so at the same time I am rolling in the grass, he is getting his sisters out."
"I just remember my mom yelling, 'Get out of the car!' and he opened the door; Me and my sister ran out," Kaleb's sister Cassidy added.
But the two younger ones were trapped in their car seats and could not on their own, so Kaleb went back in.
"Klarissa got hers off but was too scared to move and Chloe, hers was stuck so I ripped it out and pulled all of them out," Kaleb recalled.
The family said he did what the man of the house is supposed to do. The family was returning from a visit to their father's grave when the accident occurred.
"I believe your dad is sitting up there saying, 'That is my boy, fellas.' Sitting around up there, 'In whom I am well pleased'," Kaleb's teacher and coach Jeff Bracken observed.
He's not alone.
"I put this around your neck in the presence of God who loves you as we do," said Billingsley as he officially named Kaleb the first ever "Hobie's Hero." "Congrats and give me a hug."
Hobie Billingsley called all of his divers Hobie's Heroes, but now he has created an award of the same name, honoring those who have the courage to meet life's challenges.