Hero Stranger Sees Toddler Who Fell into Maryland Bay, Jumps off a 25-Feet High Bridge to Save Her

On May 2, 2021, a man and his daughter were reportedly running errands when they saw a shocking sight. Their car was on the Route 90 Bridge in Ocean City, Maryland, when they said they saw a truck swerve on the road.


Eventually, the truck struck a cement barrier and flipped onto the guardrail, resulting in a multi-vehicle crash. After witnessing the harrowing scene, the man said he stopped his car and ran over to the truck.

A Heartbreaking Scene

The truck was said to be leaning over the edge of the overpass above Assawoman Bay — a scene straight out of a horror movie or series. But what the man saw next tugged at his heartstrings.

Initially, nobody knew who had saved the little girl because her rescuer wished to remain anonymous.
It turned out that the five-vehicle collision was so sudden and horrific that it led to a toddler being ejected from the truck and off the bridge. Due to the gut-wrenching crash, the 18-month-old girl was thrown out of the vehicle and was said to have fallen into the bay.

Jumping into Action

Seeing the little girl on the brink of death, the Good Samaritan sprang into action, and without a second’s thought, jumped into the chilly waters. Before doing that, he looked over at his daughter and said, “Grab the first firefighter or police officer you see.”

The man said he saw a car seat and a few other items, and almost six feet away was the tot, who was floating helplessly in the water, face down. He noted that she was wearing a pink dress and was struggling to stay on the surface.


Without wasting time, he said he swam over to the tot, popped her up, put her over his shoulder, and began patting her back. He added:

Within seconds, she spit up a bunch of water, a lot of water, and started coughing.

To the Rescue

Ultimately, several other people and paramedics arrived on the scene, witnessing the heroic rescue. Firefighter paramedic, Ryan Wilmer, said he sought the brave hero who didn’t think twice before jeopardizing his own life to save the little one:

I had to go over and shake his hand. I had to see who took the jump and made the plunge to save the child. Without his heroism, she wouldn’t be here.

With the help of firefighters and a father-daughter duo, Joe and Alayna Oertel, who were in the area on a boat, the man and the tot were safely pulled aboard. Of the brave rescuer, Joe said:


He was stoic, he was rattled, but he was under control. He knew what was going on and what had just happened.”

The “Humble Hero”

The little one was taken to The John Hopkins Children’s Center, where she was said to be in stable condition. Initially, nobody knew who had saved her because her rescuer wished to remain anonymous.

But after finding out that the toddler was safe and doing okay, the man came forward and identified himself as Jonathan Bauer. Bauer, who the authorities hailed as a “humble hero,” held a press conference from a Maryland fire station later.

He was joined by his wife, Wendi, and daughter Ava, who was with her father when he rescued the child. While recalling details about her dad’s heroic dive from the 25-feet high bridge, Ava choked up and shared:

Probably, the scariest part of my life seeing my dad jump off the bridge.

Worthy of being Honored
Ava said she feared the worst when she saw her father put his own life on the line. Meanwhile, Bauer’s wife, Wendi, confessed that she didn’t expect anything less from her husband, who was actually terrified of heights.

Bauer was rewarded with a governor’s citation by Maryland Governor Larry Hogan for his sheer bravery and selflessness.

Soon afterward, the Air Force’s Thunderbirds honored him with a ride in the back seat of an F-16 as part of the Thunderbirds’ “Hometown Hero” program. The Thunderbirds’ official Instagram account shared a post on June 18, 2021. The caption read:

Jonathan Bauer is our hometown hero for the … OC Air Show. His selfless act shows the best America has to offer, and we’re proud to have honored him with a flight today.”

Praise & Appreciation

Several netizens were moved by Bauer’s heartwarming story and showered him with immense love and appreciation. A few YouTube users added:

If he did that for someone else’s child, I can only imagine what he’ll do for his. What a good man and father.

— (@Kiyoncé Kartier) October 2021

Watching his daughter look at him in such admiration telling the story speaks volumes of this man.”

— (@Alec Womack) April 2022

Bauer’s heroism and selflessness prove that not all heroes wear capes. We need more kind-hearted people like him. Please share this beautiful story with your loved ones.



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