one hand extended out of a body of water from below
Julie Hambleton
Julie Hambleton
December 14, 2023 ·  2 min read

A good Samaritan jumped into water and saved a toddler who fell out of a car, authorities say

Jonathan Bauer is being called a “humble hero” after he saved a toddler who was ejected from a vehicle into the Assawoman Bay during a five-car wreck last week. The man selflessly risked his own life to give her a fighting chance. (1)

Humble Hero Saved A Toddler From Drowning

On Sunday, May 2, a two-year-old girl fell out of a car dangling off a bridge in Ocean City, Maryland. Bauer, who was also involved in the five-car crash with his 13-year-old daughter, saw it happen. He jumped in and saved the toddler and is now being called the crash’s “humble hero.” (1)

When the crash initially happened, he first checked to make sure his own daughter was okay. It was shortly after that when he noticed a pick-up truck dangling off of the Route 90 bridge. He saw the car seat was thrown into the bay below with a little girl still inside it. (1)

“She was on her back. Completely floating, head out of the water. Arms moving, legs kicking, in a little pink dress,” he recalled. (1)

He turned back to look at his daughter, and at that moment, the little girl flipped over and was now face-down in the water. If something wasn’t done immediately, she would drown. He told his daughter to grab the first first-responder that arrives, and without a second thought, he jumped into the water. The drop was 25 feet and the water depth, unknown to him, was only about five. (1, 2)

Read: Pit Bull Dragged His 7-Month-Old Sister By Her Diaper Out Of The Family’s Burning Home

A Happy Ending

Thankfully, Bauer landed safely in the water. He swam as quickly as he could through the frigid water toward the little girl.

“Her mouth was open, her eyes were semi-open, and then I put her against my shoulder, very high, and then aggressively patted her on the back. And within seconds, she spit up a bunch of water, a lot of water,” he said. (1)

She was coughing and crying, but she was alive. A pontoon boat that was on the water and witnessed the scene arrived within seconds and helped pull both the little girl and Bauer out of the water. (2)

Eight people were taken to the hospital after the crash, but gratefully all eight have already been discharged and are doing well. (2) The first responders on the scene flew the little girl to a hospital in Baltimore. They expect her to make a full recovery. (1) Thanks to Bauer’s heroic efforts, there is a happening ending to what otherwise would have been a very tragic story.

Keep Reading: Boy, 6, was Hailed a Hero for Saving His Little Sister from Dog Attack


  1. Good Samaritan Comes Forward After Rescuing 2-Year-Old Thrown Into Bay After Ocean City Bridge Crash.” NBC Washington. May 8, 2021.
  2. A good Samaritan jumped into water and saved a toddler who fell out of a car, authorities say.” CNN. Anna Sturla, Aya Elamroussi. May 4, 2021.