The side of a busy highway isn’t safe for anyone. With the constant flow of cars and trucks travelling at high speeds and drivers who may be distracted, there’s a heightened chance that someone on the shoulder can get hit, seriously injured, or killed. It certainly is no place for a young child to be and no one ever expects to see a little kid all alone on the side of the highway.
That’s what one Milwaukee County Transit System bus driver saw one cold December morning while driving her route on the city’s south side. It was December 22, 2018, and Irina Ivic was driving the city bus when she spotted something shocking on the freeway overpass that she was about to cross. On the side of the road was a little girl clothed in no shoes and nothing but a onesie. The toddler was wandering around all alone in the freezing cold and Irina knew she had to act fast.
She immediately stopped the bus and sprinted across the busy highway to reach the toddler. Once she got to the child, she scooped up the crying baby and holding her close, she brought her back to the warmth and safety of the bus. As she radioed for help a passenger who had witnessed it all took her coat off and gave it to Irina to wrap the baby in.
When police, firefighters, and transit security arrived they checked the child over and determined she was cold, but safe and sound thanks to Irina’s quick reaction. In an interview, Irina said that 12 years ago she immigrated to Milwaukee from Serbia where she used to be a teacher. She has a natural affinity for children and has kids of her own as well. She said that she wouldn’t hesitate to help a child in need and would do it again in a heartbeat.
According to police, the little girl’s mother may have been suffering from mental health issues, which led to her leaving the child outside. After she was found and checked out, the little girl was reunited with her father and is safe. A commendation ceremony was held in Irina’s honor to thank her for rescuing the child and what could have been a tragedy ended in smiles and feelings of relief.
Watch the video below for the full story:
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