Bus driver hailed as hero after rescuing baby from canal crash

Elijah Saleem jumped into water and pulled young family to safety

By Tim Swift, Christian De La Rosa - Reporter

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. - A Miami-Dade Transit bus driver rescued a baby after a car plunged into a canal Monday in northwest Miami-Dade County.

Elijah Saleem was driving his bus along Northwest 155th near 27th Avenue when he saw the car veer into the canal. After securing the bus and calling for help, Saleem rushed to the scene and found the baby’s father holding his son trying to escape the sinking car.

“The gentleman asked me could I help him save his son and so I jumped into the water. He got his son through the window and he said, ‘Take my son.’ Saleem said. “He just tossed me his son.”

Saleem then helped the father and the man’s girlfriend, who did not know how to swim.

Saleem’s heroism took the first responders by surprise.

“Command, I copy and the notes say a bus driver jumped in the water?” the one asks on the police radio.

The dispatcher replied: “Command, that is affirmative. The bus driver did jump into the water.” 
Saleem, who has been a bus driver with Miami-Dade Transit since 2011, is known for helping others on the job, his supervisor said.

"For him to go above and beyond, that's the type of person he is, day in and day out," said Metrobus Division Superintendent Melvin Watson.

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