Hero Who Rescued Toddler Ejected From Car Off Bridge Didn't Think Twice About Jumping in Water to Save Child


The man jumped at least 25 feet from a Maryland Route 90 highway bridge to save the girl after she had been ejected from a pickup truck.

The hero who saved a toddler after she was ejected from a truck off a bridge said he didn't think twice about jumping into the water after her. 

One of the first responders to the scene told Inside Edition that he shook the hero's hand and thanked him for what he had done.

The hero, identified only as Jonathan, spoke Friday at a press conference from a Maryland fire station. Authorities called him a “humble hero.” Jonathan initially said he wanted to remain anonymous, until he knew for sure that the baby was okay.

The force of the collision ejected the 18-month-old girl out of a vehicle and into the water of the bay. That's when Jonathan, who was in another car, got out and without hesitation, climbed over the barrier and dove into the chilly waters after her.

Jonathan, who was in the car with his daughter, Ava, got out of his vehicle, looked over the bridge and saw the baby, who had gone face-first in the water. He took off his shoes, an act that still confuses even him, and turned to his daughter. “I looked over at my daughter and said, ‘grab the first firefighter or police officer you see.’” And then he jumped in the water.

“I swam over to the girl and popped her up out of the water. I looked at her and her mouth was open and her eyes were open and I put her over my shoulder, very high, and aggressively pat her on the back,” he said. “Within seconds she spit up a bunch of water, a lot of water, and started coughing.”

Alayna Oertel and her father, Joe, were on board a boat that took in the hero and the baby after she was rescued.

“We pulled them up through the back and got them on the ladder,” Alayna told Inside Edition.

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