OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP) — 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. Officials say one vehicle was halfway over the guardrail and there were multiple people who were injured. During the collision, an infant was ejected from the car that was teetering over the guardrail; the child landed in the bay, authorities said.
With no boats nearby to assist, Bauer jumped in and rescued the baby. WJZ reports that he jumped nearly 30 feet to save the girl.
“When I looked at the water, by that she had flipped over on her stomach, her face was in the water,” Bauer told WJZ.
Bauer grabbed the girl and helped her to safety. After the rescue, the child was reportedly taken to an area hospital, treated and released. She is expected to make a full recovery.
According to WJZ, witnesses decribed Bauer as “stoic” and “rattled,” but “under control.” First responders also hailed him as “selfless” and a “hero.”
The Ocean City fire chief says Bauer put his own life on the line when he jumped into action because of the height of the bridge and the shallow water below.