OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP/CBS Newspath/WJZ) – A Maryland man is being hailed as a hero for leaping off a bridge into a bay to save a 2-year-old girl who had been ejected into the water from a wrecked vehicle.
The Daily Times of Salisbury reports Ocean City emergency responders met Friday with Jonathan Bauer, who shared his story publicly for the first time since the incident May 2.
Bauer was nearby when a multi-vehicle collision happened on a bridge over a bay.
With no boats nearby to assist, he jumped in and rescued the toddler.
The fire chief says Bauer put his own life on the line because of the height of the bridge and the shallow water below.
The Ocean City Fire Department on Friday thanked Bauer and his family, daughter Ava and wife Wendi.
Bauer saved a toddler girl after the serious crash on the Route 90 bridge last weekend. The infant was ejected into the water in her car seat, while the vehicle she was riding in dangled over the side of the bridge.
Jonathan Bauer spoke about how he and his daughter, Ava, were initially involved in the chain-reaction crash.
As he looked around to make sure his daughter and others at the scene were OK, he heard someone screaming for help. A baby had fallen into the water after the crash.
Although initially, she was facing up in her car seat, she soon flipped over and Bauer knew he needed to take action to save her life.
Jonathan says he took off his shoes, told his teen daughter to call 911 and jumped over the bridge into the water below.
Once he was in the water, he swam to the child and rescued her. A family in a boat nearby came over and pulled both of them into the boat.
Jonathan’s daughter recalled the shock from initially being involved in the accident, to then watching her father jump into the water to rescue the baby.
The baby girl was initially taken to the hospital for treatment, but has since been released from the hospital.
Ocean City Mayor Richard W. Meehan on Friday presented Bauer with a plaque on behalf of the city, to thank him for his heroism.
The city’s fire department also presented Bauer and his family with special jackets.