"Hero" isn't a word that should be tossed around lightly, but in this story, it's a pretty accurate term.
One man in Maryland risked his own life to save a child, and people are giving him the praise he deserves.
An Accident In Ocean City
The story starts with a car accident on the Route 90 bridge in Ocean City, Maryland, that resulted in a multi-car pile-up.
During that accident, a truck was turned over on the bridge's railing.
A Young Child Was Thrown Out Of The Vehicle
A 23-month-old girl was thrown out of the truck and fell into the water below the bridge.
One man, who was one of the cars involved in the pile-up, went to help a passenger in the truck.
The Passenger Directed Him To The Child
When the man went to help the passenger remaining in the vehicle, they signaled to the water, leading the man to realize something was wrong.
"I saw the car seat and some other items, and about six feet away from the car seat was a little girl."
The Young Girl Was Floating In The Water
The little girl was on her back in the water, floating with her head completely above water.
The toddler in the water started to flip over and sink under the water, which prompted the man to jump into the water.
He Told His Daughter To Call For Help
Before jumping in the water, the good samaritan asked his teenage daughter to alert the first firefighter or police officer she came across, so they'd know what was happening.
Then he jumped over the bridge to go for the young girl.
He Reached The Little Girl
After surfacing in the water, he was able to gather his bearings and reach the little girl.
When he reached her, "her mouth was open, her eyes were semi-open and then I put her against my shoulder very high and aggressively patted her on the back."
She Had Taken In A Lot Of Water To Her Little Body
The man kept patting the little girl on the back as she coughed up a lot of water.
Help arrived from two boaters who are driving past, Joe and Alayna Ortel. The two assisted the man and the young girl, pulling them out of the water.
Everyone Involved In The Accident Is Now Safe
The little girl was taken to Johns Hopkins Children's Center in Baltimore, according to the Ocean City Fire Department, who was on site for the crash.
Every other individual who was involved in the car crash has since been released from the hospital and all are in healthy condition.
So Who Was The Good Samaritan?
After the accident, the man slipped into the background and disappeared without taking credit for his actions.
Everyone who heard the story wanted to praise the good samaritan—but he wasn't interested in being identified.
An Emotional Press Conference
Once the story garnered more attention and he knew that the little girl was okay, he came forward to speak in a press conference at Ocean City Fire Hall 3.
Jonathan Bauer was the one who saved the young girl after she went over the bridge. He even admitted that he's afraid of heights, but that couldn't stop him at that moment.
"A Humble Hero"
In a press conference following the crash and incidents, Ocean City Mayor Richard Meehan referred to Bauer as a "humble hero."
The crash could have had a much different outcome had Jonathan Bauer not jumped into the water to save the little girl.
This Little Boy Got 90 Stitches In His Face After Saving His Little Sister From A Dog Attack
What would you do for your siblings? Would you put yourself in harm's way for them? That's exactly what this little boy from Cheyenne, Wyoming, did. Bridger is only 6 years old, but when he saw that a dog was poised to attack his younger sister, he leaped into action.
He put himself between the dog and his sister and protected her from getting mauled. Sadly, he got hurt in the process. Keep reading to find out what happened next.
A Little Help From His Aunt
Bridger's aunt Nicole really wanted his story to go viral. She wanted the world to know that her nephew is a hero.
She posted these photos on her Instagram account in the hopes that many people would see them and be inspired.
A Heroic Kid
Nicole wrote, "My nephew is a hero who saved his little sister from an attacking dog. He, himself, took on the attack so that the dog wouldn't get his sister. He later said, 'If someone was going to die, I thought it should be me.' He got home from the hospital last night.
I know it's a long shot, but I’m reaching out to the Avengers and other heroes so that they can learn about this latest addition to their ranks. Please, check your DMs for my sweet nephew’s story."
Nicole kept posting pictures of Bridger and his sister until people started to pay attention.
She tagged several celebrities in her post so that they could see the story and share it with their fans.
In The Hospital
This is a photo of Bridger in the hospital after he got out of surgery.
You can see that his face is very badly bruised and that the doctors had to work really hard to stitch him back up.
A Total Of 90 Stitches
After the whole ordeal, Bridger had to have 90 stitches put into his face.
Nicole wrote, "after receiving 90 stitches (give or take) from a skilled plastic surgeon, he's finally resting at home."
No Hard Feelings
In one of her many updates, Nicole mentioned, "I'd also like to mention here that the dog's owners are really great people who have been nothing but kind to Bridger and his family.
We feel no resentment toward them at all, and—if anything—there’s only been an increase of love between our families as a result of this incident."
The Likes Came Pouring In
People seemed to really appreciate Bridger's story. Nicole's original Instagram post now has over 340,000 likes.
People who read Bridger's story started to notify the actors and celebrities Nicole mentioned in her post.
Some Famous Friends
Nicole tagged such Avengers actors as Tom Holland, Chris Hemsworth, Robert Downey Jr., and Mark Ruffalo in her post.
She was hoping that they would see what Bridger had done and recognize him as a true hero.
Anne Hathaway Shared The Story
Anne Hathaway was the first celebrity to share Bridger's story. She posted this photo on Instagram along with the caption, "I'm not an Avenger, but I know a superhero when I see one. I can only hope I'm half as brave in my life as you are in yours, Bridger.
Wishing you an easeful recovery, and many cool-looking rocks. Hey @markruffalo, do you need a teammate??"
The Hulk Himself
Mark Ruffalo, AKA The Hulk himself, saw Anne Hathaway's Instagram post and posted this message to Bridger on his Instagram page.
Bridger was so excited to hear from one of his heroes.
Bridger also got a special video message from Chris Evans, AKA Captain America.
In the video, Evans said, "Pal, you're a hero, what you did was so brave, so selfless—your sister is so lucky to have you as a big brother. Your parents must be so proud of you."
Octavia Spencer Speaks Up
Actress Octavia Spencer saw Bridger's story and decided to chime in.
She commented on his aunt's post on Instagram writing, "I'm not an Avenger but I know and appreciate them as I appreciate your little hero."
Gordon Ramsay Talks About Bridger
Celebrity Chef Gordon Ramsay is known for being kind of strict an overbearing, but he really is super kind to kids.
He commented, "So brave! may not be a hero in the Marvel Universe but heroes need to be fed!"
Tony Stark Himself
Finally, Bridger got a message from the man he had been waiting to hear from.
Robert Downey Jr., AKA Tony Stark, AKA Iron Man sent Bridger a video message via Instagram.
Still Kicking Butt
Bridger may look a little different now, but he's not letting that get him down. He's still enjoying his life and kicking butt in karate.
He needs to stay sharp so he can continue protecting his family.
He Still Loves Dogs
The incident hasn't clouded Bridger's view of dogs. He still loves cuddling with his own dog, Thor, and he still enjoys being around pets of all kinds.
He understands that the actions of one dog shouldn't make him scared of all dogs.
More Fan Art
People on Instagram were so inspired by Bridger's story that they decided to make and post Bridger-themed artwork.
Check out this drawing of Bridger as Captain America. That cape looks good on him.
A Different Style
In this drawing, it looks like Bridger is starring in his own Disney Chanel cartoon. Move over, Kim Possible.
There's a new hero in town. Bridger is on the case.