Dad Mode > Beast Mode—Truck Driving Father Hailed As Hero For Rescuing Toddler Flung From Wreck

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A truck driver is being called a hero after coming to the rescue of a toddler who went missing after being involved in a car accident.

Joe Hylton, who estimates this is the seventh time he’s come to the rescue on the scene of an accident, was driving for Perdue Farms when he came across wreckage on Delaware’s Route 1 during the night. He got out of his truck and observed that both cars were damaged. He also found a man frantically running down the highway, screaming that he couldn’t find his daughter.

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Hylton, who is a father of three, says he immediately went into “dad” mode.

“I see a frantic father running around. He’s looking in the back of his truck and saying ‘I can’t find my daughter, I can’t find my daughter.’ I looked in and I saw an empty car seat in the back of the truck.”

Hylton began to search for the child in the marshy area along the road. Using his flashlight, he saw a small bundle. Almost scared to examine what ended up being the child, Hylton was shocked to discover that the little girl was not injured and was reaching for him. It’s not known how the child was ejected from the car seat.

“When I saw the look on his face, I said, ‘Man, I have to do something.’ To look at the empty car seat, your heart just drops. As I got closer to her, it was like the Lord picked her up. She sat herself up and crossed her legs Indian style and stuck her hands up for me to pick her up,” Hylton said.

“I grabbed her and called for the dad, the dad came running over, and we had a hug. We didn’t know each other, I never met him before in my life. But I’ll tell you we knew each other in that moment.”

A New Jersey Fire Department Battalion Chief who arrived on the scene of the accident later tracked Hylton down to thank him for his help and recognize him for his heroic behavior. The Delaware State Police is also awarding Hylton its Good Samaritan honor.

“There is so much craziness going on in the world, I don’t believe in receiving accolades for helping somebody out,” Hylton said. “That’s what we’re all supposed to do.”

“Everyone is so angry and upset, it seems like the world is on a level ten right now. A little bit of good will go a long way. It gives me hope that things are on the mend, that things are changing.”

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Patricia Grisafi

Written by Patricia Grisafi