Hiker Carries 280-Pound Injured Man on His Back, Downs Double Portion of Tacos

A man and his girlfriend were out for a New Year's Day hike when they came across a man hobbling down the trail.

"We went on the hike and got just over two miles in, and I could see this guy hobbling and struggling," Dan Reardon told INSIDE EDITION.

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He and his girlfriend, Dina Zaky, were headed to Escondido Falls in Malibu, California. "We'd never been on this hike before. We were going to walk back to see the waterfall, and then go for lunch," he said.

Reardon said his instincts immediately kicked in when he saw the man; he had been an emergency room doctor for 10 years.

"I saw he had an ankle injury. Whether it was broken, or just a sprain, I needed him to get seen by a doctor," he said. "I asked if he was okay. He said, 'No, I'm fine.'"

But he saw that the man's family members kept looking at each other, and it was clear that the man, whose name was Mark Martinez, couldn't walk alone.  

"I said, 'It's two miles to the road; it's clear you're struggling,'" said Reardon.  

So he and Martinez's brother got on either side of him to support him down the trail, but Reardon soon put Plan B into work. "Try to hop on a jagged hiking trail. The risk was that he would break his other ankle," he said.

Reardon, who has also trained as a personal trainer, told the 280-pound man he would carry him.

"He looked at me like I was crazy," said Reardon, who's also the CEO of FitnessGenes, which analyzes DNA to help people become healthier versions of themselves.

"He jumped on my back and I started carrying him."

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Soon Reardon outpaced Martinez's family. He wanted to get him to safety, fast – and still have time to eat the tacos he was craving.  

"I needed to move quite quickly. His family was struggling to keep up with me. I was moving pretty fast. I wasn't stupid; I knew I was going to get tired," he said.

"I'd put him down, rest for a second, and keep going. I did this for two miles. My girlfriend ran to get help. We knew we were going to need paramedics at the end of the trail."

Emergency services arrived, and the man thanked Reardon profusely (Martinez was later diagnosed with a fractured ankle and fibula).

But Reardon's mind was already elsewhere. He and his girlfriend were headed straight for Duke's in Malibu.

"I had a double order of Cajun fish tacos," he said. "I was hungry!"

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