Jonathan Bauer is afraid of heights, but that didn’t stop him from jumping off a 25- to 40-foot bridge into the water to save a young girl’s life.
On May 2, Bauer and her teenage daughter Ava were running errands when they were caught in a serious five-car crash on the Route 90 bridge over Maryland’s Assawoman Bay. The accident sent eight people to the hospital and left a pickup truck hanging precariously over the railing.
After making sure Ava was okay, Bauer got out of his car to see if anyone needed help. As he made his way towards the wobbly truck, his passenger alerted him to a harrowing sight: a small boy, thrown out of the passenger side, was floating in the bay, her pink dress billowing in the waves.
“I looked and saw the car seat, some other items, and then about six feet away from the car seat, I saw the girl and she was on her back perfectly floating on her back, arms moving, legs kicking “. Bauer said, as reported by WJLA.
Scanning the water for nearby ships that might help, Bauer found none nearby. When he turned his attention to the girl, he saw that she was in trouble. “He had turned over on his stomach and his face was in the water,” he said.
Bauer yelled at her daughter to stop the first firefighter or paramedic she saw. Then he simply kicked off his shoes and jumped, feet first.
Resurfacing uninjured, he swam towards the boy, who appeared to be only semi-conscious. Lifting the girl over his shoulder, he patted her back until she began to cough and expel the water from her system.
Moments later, the navigators Joe and Alayna Oertel arrived, who had witnessed the development of the events. After taking Bauer and the 2-year-old to safety, the Oertels led the couple to the 66th Street ramp where they were greeted by waiting paramedics.
The girl was airlifted to Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore for evaluation and treatment. (She has since been released and is expected to make a full recovery.)
Bauer, overwhelmed by the experience, slipped away silently without taking credit for his brave actions. Even after reports of the incident were made public, he initially tried to keep his involvement quiet, preferring to remain anonymous as a Good Samaritan.
However, her community was determined to show its appreciation. They got their wish.
On May 7, at a “kitchen table” press conference held at Ocean City Fire Station 3, Bauer met with Joe and Alayna Oertel and several of the first responders who were on the scene that day. Also in attendance, along with his wife Wendi and daughter Ava, City Council President (himself a volunteer firefighter) Matt James and Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan.
During the event, an emotional Bauer recounted his experiences of the fateful events. While he was showered with praise and even awarded a plaque to commemorate his heroism, it was clear that saving a life was all that really mattered.
“Jonathan is truly a humble hero and that’s what makes this even more special than it already was,” said Mayor Meehan, including Ava in his praise as well. “This is a day of gratitude. This was a really tragic accident … [but] the end of the story is that everyone is fine, and they’re fine thanks to everyone in this room. “
(LOOK TODAY’s video on this story below).
RESCUE Hope in your friends: share this story of good news …