Tristin Hampton was just about to grab a little snack when a knock at the front door caught his attention.
The standout Claremore High baseball player was surprised by the sudden short sound coming from the doorway. He had been simply minding his own business while staying weather aware from the comfort of his couch.
It was about 12:30 a.m., but he decided to answer anyway.
It’s a good thing he did.
The knocker was none other than his neighbor asking for help.
Just outside Hampton’s home on Archer Ct., a man and his vehicle were stranded in a flash flood caused by heavy rainfall and the overflowing of a nearby creek.
It was in the same location the beloved late Claremore firefighter Capt. Jason Farley lost his life while assisting residents in similar conditions on May 23, 2015.
With no regard for his own safety, Hampton immediately took action, channeling his inner rescue instincts.
“I put on a hoodie and shorts and some muck boots and went outside,” Hampton said. “The road I’m on floods really easily, and the car was in really high water. I didn’t really know what to expect when I stepped outside.
“I was actually home by myself. My mom was in Verdigris, and the roads were too bad to get to my house. I was flooded in, so I just went and did it.”
As nearby tornado sirens blared, Hampton exited his home and made his way through the pelting rain toward the man.
Most of Rogers County was under a tornado warning at the time, but that didn’t concern the teenager too much. Saving the stranded pedestrian was his main objective.
“I wasn’t really worried about the tornado,” Hampton said. “My instinct was to just go help whoever.”
And help he did.
Hampton and his neighbors were unable to save the vehicle because of the high waters, but they did manage to bring the man to safety and escort him to a nearby house where he waited for a ride home.
After the rescue, Hampton helped set up ‘Road Closed’ signs around the neighborhood in an effort to prevent more life-threatening situations.
“The water was rushing pretty bad,” Hampton said. “(Tuesday) morning, the car was still there. It was submerged in the ditch. The interior of his car was probably just ruined. We just opened the door, and all the water got inside. I don’t know what it looks like today.”
After a stellar final season on the diamond in which he helped the Zebras to a 21-12 record and a third-straight state tournament berth, Hampton received several postseason honors.
The senior was selected for the following: Oklahoma Native All-State, OBCA All-Star by Class, Three Rivers Coaches Association All-Star, 5A-3 All-District (first base) and All-VYPE.
Hampton finished with a .366 batting average, tallying 20 singles, 13 doubles, three triples and one home run to go along with 42 RBIs and 24 runs scored.