There are heroes, and then there are heroes. One firefighter proved that he’s both brave enough to rush into a burning wreckage to rescue people, yet tender enough to take a strange little girl into his arms and comfort her. After a tragic incident, one firefighter went above and beyond the call of duty.
Two people were killed and six were injured in a terrible crash on a highway in San Diego, California. A big rig crossed into oncoming traffic and got involved in an accident with two cars.
California Highway Patrol reports that the driver of the truck lost control going southbound on State Route 125. He crashed through a metal freeway guard and crossed lanes of northbound traffic before he finally hit a concrete divider.
Two women in a Chevy, identified as 57-year-old Nancy Bauerlein and her 29-year-old daughter, Jennifer Thompson-Campbell, were killed in the crash.
The driver of the truck and his passenger were injured. Police say he wasn’t driving under the influence and launched an investigation to determine what caused the driver to lose control. They are reviewing the vehicle’s dashcam footage.
Two adults in a Kia Sorrento were injured, along with a six-year-old in the Kia who suffered from a broken neck. A four-year-old was also in the Kia with her family, and she also sustained injuries.
Ryan Lopez, a firefighter paramedic with Heartland Fire & Rescue Department, was one of the first responders on the scene. He rushed to tend to the four-year-old girl, who he determined to be suffering from minor injuries. The emotional trauma seemed to be the greater problem for the little girl at the time. An NBC 7 News helicopter caught a shot of Lopez with the little girl. The firefighter had scooped the small child up into his arms. She clung to him as he carried her away from the wreckage and rocked her soothingly. The little girl rested her head on his shoulder and allowed the rescuer to comfort her.
When the girl had calmed down some, the firefighter brought her to one of the fire engines and put her down. He gave her some water to drink, then picked her up again and rocked her for a while longer.
In his time with her, he showed her his tools on his jacket, he pointed out parts of the fire engine, and kept her occupied. When her mother was finished being checked out and found to have only minor injuries, Lopez returned the little girl to her mother’s arms.
Lopez told the news station later that he has a 2-month-old daughter, and his daddy instincts seemed to kick in.
“She really just wanted to hang on and just feel safe,” Lopez explained, saying it’s all part of the job. “It’s not something I would ever seek out to take any recognition for… I know someone else in my same position would’ve done the same thing.”
Source: NBC 7