OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP) — A Maryland man was hailed as a “humble hero” this week after he leapt off a bridge into a bay to save a 2-year-old who was ejected from a wrecked vehicle.
Ocean City first responders met with Jonathan Bauer, who shared his story publicly for the first time, the Daily Times reported.
Bauer was running errands with his 13-year-old daughter and was nearby when several vehicles collided Sunday on the Route 90 bridge over Assawoman Bay in Ocean City.
“First thing I remember hearing was the tire screech, and then the truck swaying back and forth like it was losing control,” Bauer said.
Bauer said he looked down into the water and saw a car seat and then, about 6 feet away, the little girl floating. He said he frantically looked to see if there were boats in the vicinity that could help.
“Then I looked over to the water and she had flipped over onto her stomach and her face was in the water,” Bauer said, choking up, according to the newspaper.
He plunged in and rescued the girl, who was taken to a hospital but expected to recover.
Ocean City Fire Chief Richard Bowers called Bauer a “humble hero” for putting his own life on the line.
“What he did was without question a heroic thing, and very courageous thing to jump into over the railing, down 25 to 30 feet into open water, which is only 4 or 5 foot deep,” Bowers said.
The good Samaritan’s own daughter, Ava, called it “the scariest moment of my life.”