OCEAN CITY, MD — A 2-year-old child strapped into a car seat was launched from a pickup truck into the Assawoman Bay shortly before 3 p.m. Sunday when the pickup was involved in a crash on the Route 90 Bridge. A man jumped from the bridge into the bay and rescued the child, who was flown to John Hopkins Hospital.
The Ocean City Fire Department said the “good Samaritan immediately jumped over the guardrail and into the bay.”
Ocean City police officers said the pickup truck the toddler was riding in was hanging halfway over the guardrail of the Route 90 bridge.
Five vehicles total were involved in the crash on the bridge, and eight people required treatment at the hospital, according to the Ocean City Police Department. As of noon Monday, all of the other crash victims had been released from the hospital. The 2-year-old remained in stable condition.
While witnesses from the highway stared in horror as the five vehicles collided on the bridge, knocking the pickup partway over the guardrail, a teenager and her family had a shocking bird’s eye view.
Fourteen-year-old Alayna Oertel was driving her family’s boat in the bay when she saw the truck teetering atop the bridge guardrail.
“…my first instinct was to go look and see if there were people there. So, I told my dad to take over and I pulled out the life vests,” Oertel told WUSA9.
The family zoomed over to the bridge and discovered the hero, a man in an easily visible red shirt, waving them down while clutching the toddler.
“I’m really surprised that he was not injured,” Joe Oertel told WUSA9.
The family said the little girl was crying, which actually was a good sign.
Route 90 was closed in both directions for several hours Sunday due to the accident.