KABUL, Afghanistan, Aug. 4 (UPI) -- A U.S. Army sergeant says a radio-controlled toy truck given to him by his brother saved the lives of six fellow soldiers in Afghanistan.
Staff Sgt. Christopher Fessenden said he's been using the tiny truck, equipped with a miniature video camera, to run ahead on patrol and look for roadside bombs, ABC News reported Thursday.
Fessenden said he's has had the truck since 2007, when his brother Ernie, a software engineer in Rochester, Minn., and Kevin Guy, the owner of the Everything Hobby shop in Rochester, rigged it with a wireless video camera and shipped it to him.
Last week, he said, it paid off when he leant the truck to a group of soldiers who used it to check the road ahead on a patrol.
The tiny truck hit a trip wire and set off an estimated 500 pounds of explosives. The six soldiers, controlling the toy in their following Humvee, escaped injury.
Fessenden said the little truck had successfully located four IEDs since he first got it.
"Is it a toy?" he wrote in an e-mail to his brother. "Yeah it is ... is it fun? ... absolutely ... but the guys here take the truck very seriously when out on [a] mission."
His brother and hobby shop owner Kevin Guy said they're trying to send Chris a new truck.
"That's just unreal," said Guy when he learned of the recent incident. "That's six mothers that six guys are going home to."