A Milwaukee bus driver who spotted a lone toddler wandering along a freeway overpass while driving her route on a freezing day, rushed to the child’s rescue after an unscheduled emergency stop and is being celebrated as a hero.
Irena Ivic hit the brakes after she spotted the young girl, wearing just a diaper and a red onesie, running alone in freezing temperatures just after 8am on December 22. Footage of the breathtaking rescue, taken from the bus cameras, was released this week by the Milwaukee County Transit System.
The cameras caught the child running alone and Ivic bringing the bus to an unexpected halt, leaving behind a group of stunned passengers to retrieve the girl, reported to be less than a year old. Once she returns to the bus, a passenger offers the child-saving hero a winter coat to wrap it around the freezing toddler.
“I’m shaking,” Ivic told the passengers, while rocking the cloaked child to sleep in her arms while waiting for emergency services to arrive. Authorities later returned the child to her father, with police saying the girl had gone missing after being left outside by her mother who, at the time, had been experiencing a mental health issue.
“I absolutely love kids,” Ivic later told local media. “I used to be a teacher and I have children of my own, so I’m so happy I was able to help this sweet, innocent baby.”
In a tribute ceremony for Ivic on Thursday, Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele praised her selfless rescue as the “sort of human impulse we should be celebrating and encouraging.”
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