In the blink of an eye, an ordinary day can become one that could change your life forever. No one expects it, and, most of all, no one knows how they would react in a particular instance. On May 2, 2021, Jonathan Bauer was about to find out how quickly that instance can come.
On May 2, an ordinary day turned into one of horror, as a multi-vehicle collision happened on the Route 90 bridge near Ocean City, MD. One of the vehicles involved in the collision, a pick-up truck, was left partially dangling over the east bound side of the bridge, approximately 30 feet above the water. To Jonathan Bauer, it was a moment that would change not only his life, but the lives of two other families as well. Traveling with his 13-year-old daughter, Ava, they approached the accident.
“We heard yelling and saw the truck on the railing. I told Ava to call 911 and stay right there.”Jonathan Bauer describing the scene of the accident and the actions he took
As he threw his shoes off, Bauer, who has a fear of heights, jumped 30 feet down into Saint Martins River, when he saw a car seat and a pink dress with an 18-month-old girl floating in the water.
“When I looked over, I saw the car seat and some other items, and about six feet away from the car seat was a little girl. She was on her back, completely floating, head completely out of the water, arms moving, legs kicking, and a little pink dress.”Jonathan Bauer describes what he saw after jumping into the Saint Martins River
Ava was told to find the closest first responder and for them to prepare for a rescue. As Bauer reached the little girl, her eyes were slightly closed, and her mouth was open. Holding her up and hitting her back, the little girl spat up water.
Luckily, Joe Oertel was close by in a pontoon boat, which was being operated by his daughter, Alayna. Oertel had Alayna drive over to the scene, where they helped Bauer and the little girl out of the water and met paramedics at 64th street.
All three families involved had their lives changed forever after that. The toddler recovered quicky, as did the family involved in the accident. Jonathan Bauer’s actions brought out a true hero in an unexpected time.
Bauer tried to stay out of the limelight but was honored by Ocean City, the OC Fire Department, and news outlets around the area. On July 11, 2021, the Baltimore Orioles honored Bauer as a Birdland Community Hero. In recognition, the Orioles donated $5,000 to the OC Fire Department for their tremendous efforts.
Bauer wil forever be remembered as “The Ocean City Hero” by not only his family, but by the entire city as well. Baltimore will forever hold him in regard as a Superman to us all.
Thank you, Jonathan Bauer! In a world full of chaos, you are a hero Birdland will remember always!
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