CANTON, Ohio-- Stark County Sheriff George Maier rescued two children from a car that crashed into a creek on Thursday.
The stick shift vehicle was in the parking lot of a gas station at Fulton Road NW and Stadium Park Dr. mid morning Thursday, with two boys ages one and three, strapped in their car seats.
The sheriff says their mother was outside of the car when it rolled backwards through four lanes of heavy traffic.
“I didn’t really know what to think,” said Sheriff Maier. “I just see a car rolling over the other side of the road, down an embankment into the stream and so I just immediately responded.”
Fortunately the car became stuck in the mud near the edge which prevented it from becoming submersed in the frigid 3 1/2ft deep water.
“I hate to think what might have happened,” said the sheriff, who jumped in and pulled both boys to safety.
The two children did not suffer any injuries and went home with their tearful and grateful mother.
The sheriff doesn’t believe his actions were heroic. He says he did what an officer would do in that situation. He just got there first.
"I think probably the most rewarding for me was being able to hand those children to their mother,” said Sheriff Maier. “I’ll sleep better because of that.”
The Stark County Sheriff's Office said the car was not running and the keys were not in the ignition. Why the vehicle rolled away is still under investigation.