After Surviving A Car Crash, A Driver Plunged Off A Bridge To Save A Child From Drowning

Illustration for article titled After Surviving A Car Crash, A Driver Plunged Off A Bridge To Save A Child From Drowning
Photo: Ocean City Fire Department

A two-year-old girl was ejected from a car and into the water in Ocean City, Maryland, on May 2, after a car crash left her family’s pickup teetering on a guardrail over Assawoman Bay.

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Another driver who was caught in the multi-car wreck, Jonathan Bauer, jumped into the water to save the infant, whom CNN reports is alive thanks to Bauer’s efforts.

The footage of the accident below shows a Mercedes-Benz SUV with heavy damage to its front end, and what seems to be a Toyota Tacoma placed precariously on its side, over the guardrail of a Route 90 bridge:

Three other cars were involved in the wreck besides the pickup and SUV, but the pickup was the only vehicle thrown violently enough to almost come off the bridge altogether. Eight people were treated at area hospitals following the accident, and all eight of them were discharged shortly afterwards, according to CNN.

The Ocean City Fire Department said that this may not have been the case had Bauer not jumped in after the infant, who was initially floating on her back near her car seat, which was also ejected in the wreck. What prompted Bauer to plunge into the bay was the infant rolling over onto her stomach, which could have led to her drowning.

Bauer described the scene as follows, per Delmarva Now:

I looked over and I saw the car seat, some other items, and then about about 6 feet away from the car seat, I saw the little girl and she was on her back floating perfectly on her back, arms moving, legs kicking...

Then I looked over to the water and she had flipped over onto her stomach and her face was in the water...

I [] swam over to the girl and lifted her out of the water...Her mouth was open, her eyes were semi open. And then I raised my shoulder very high and aggressively patted her on her back. Within seconds she spit up a bunch of water and started coughing...

Both were rescued by boaters in the bay. Bauer himself was OK, despite the crash and the nearly 30-foot drop into the shallow water, which is reportedly about five feet deep. Bauer could have been badly hurt. His own daughter, Ava, told Delmarva Now “It was probably the scariest moment of my life seeing my dad jump off the bridge.”

I can hardly imagine how Bauer felt after the jarring accident and seeing a child thrown from the wreck. Being a father most likely helped propel him into the water after the child. The little girl was airlifted to a Baltimore hospital where she is thankfully expected to make a full recovery after both the car crash and fall.

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Photo: Ocean City Fire Department
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Photo: Ocean City Fire Department

Staff Writer at Jalopnik. Periodista automotriz, Naturally Aspirated Stan.

DISCUSSION

cloudkitt
cloudkitt

How do you jump from 30ft up into 5ft deep water without getting hurt/killed...? I feel like I’d hurt myself jumping off the side of the pool into 5 feet of water (and I didn’t know its depth)