Steve Montelongo was driving when his granddaughter spotted an emergency happening: a man was trapped in a car sinking in a nearby canal.
Acting fast, the 80-year-old man pulled his car over and ran over to the waster with his granddaughter. There were around 20 people already on the scene, but nobody was attempting to help. So Montelongo did what he had to do. He jumped into the water to save the man.
Luckily, the back door was open and Montelongo was able to grab the man’s T-shirt, pulling him to safety.
“I literally yanked him out” Montolongo said.
The man wasn’t the first person Montelongo has saved in his life. According to KCRA3, the man in the car is the third person he has saved in his life. In 2003, he was awarded the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission medal for extraordinary acts of heroism. On Feb. 10, 2002, Montelongo rescued Katherine Mattox and Wayne S. Maxwell, who were 80 and 79, respectively, from a house fire. There was an explosion due to a natural gas leak that set the house on fire. The noise was so loud, Montelongo heard it nearby and came over to see what happened. Montelongo saw Mattox in the living room window and knew he had to help. He was able to force open the door, get Mattox out of the house and then find Maxwell in the kitchen and help him to safety.
While truly heroic acts, Montelongo does not consider himself a hero. He just says he was in the right place at the right time.