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Watch: Firefighter comforts 4-year-old girl after fatal crash

fatal crash firefighter

The firefighter held the girl in his arms and gently rocked her from side to side

By American Firefighter News Staff

SAN DIEGO — A firefighter was recognized for comforting a 4-year-old girl after a highway crash Wednesday.

NBC San Diego reported that Heartland Fire and Rescue firefighter-paramedic Ryan Lopez scooped up the girl and held her in his arms and he carried her away from the wreckage. Her mother and sister were treated for injuries after the crash.

Video footage caught firefighter-paramedic Lopez holding the girl in his arms and gently rocking her from side to side. The girl held on tight, with her head resting on Lopez's shoulder.

Lopez, who is a new dad to a 2-month-old girl, said he knew what to do right away.

"She really just wanted to hang on and just feel safe," he said. "It's something any other first responder would have done."

A driver of a big rig lost control and crushed a metal guardrail on the freeway. The driver crossed into northbound traffic lanes and crashed into a concrete divider wall. Two women were killed in the crash.

The 4-year-old girl suffered minor injuries; her sister, 6, suffered a broken neck and the mother of the two girls suffered minor injuries.

Police said the driver of the big rig was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

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