A mother along with her two young daughters and another adult family member were involved in the crash in San Diego. A big rig had crossed into oncoming traffic, leading to the crash, NBC San Diego reported.
Video footage showed Heartland Fire & Rescue Department firefighter paramedic Ryan Lopez holding the 4-year-old girl as he carried her away from the wreckage, according to the report.
Lopez, who was wearing firefighter gear, could be seen holding the girl and rocking her. He then carried the girl over to the fire engine and put her down to give her a drink of water.
Lopez told the NBC affiliate that he’s just learning to be a dad to a 2-month-old daughter of his own. “She really just wanted to hang on and just feel safe,” he said.
“It’s not something I would ever seek out to take any recognition for,” he said. “I know someone else in my same position would’ve done the same thing.”
He said what he did is routine and part of his job.
“Keeping her distracted was my ultimate goal and making her feel safe,” Lopez told Fox5. “I think her expression of gratitude and the look on her face that she felt safe – I could tell it was better with me holding her and keeping her close to me so I could talk to her while we waited for the ambulance to transport her up to the hospital.”
The truck collided with a Chevy, killing two, and they were identified as Nancy Bauerlein, 57, of Santee and her daughter, Jennifer Thompson-Campbell, 29.
Then, big rig hit a family inside a black Kia Sorrento. Two adults and two little girls, ages 4 and 6, were involved in the crash. The 6-year-old suffered a broken neck and was taken Rady Children’s Hospital. The 4-year-old with Lopez suffered minor injuries, NBC reported.