MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A Miami-Dade bus driver who sprang into action to save lives after seeing a car plunge into a canal has been honored by the county.
During a special presentation Tuesday morning at the county commission meeting, Commissioners Barbara J. Jordan and Esteban Bovo, Jr. presented a commendation to Elijah Saleem for his brave and heroic actions.
“Elijah on behalf of myself and the entire board we’re thankful, we’re thankful for what you did, thankful that you’re one of ours,” said Bovo. “What you did impacted the lives of the folks that were in the water and has made an impact on us here at the board.”
Saleem was on duty, driving north on Northwest 155th Street, on February 18th when he saw the car go into a canal at 27th Avenue.
“You see something happen, I’m not one to just do nothing,” he said.
He immediately stopped and secured the bus. He then ran into the water to rescue those in the care.
“It just was like my heart and my instinct took over,” said Saleem. “As I was getting into the water the man was like come help, can you take my son, can you take my son? He tossed me his son on my way to him.”
After getting the year old child to the shore, he went back to save the man and his girlfriend.
Saleem, who is humble about his part in saving those lives, feels he was simply where he was supposed to be.
“The universe lets you know you have a purpose and I kind of feel like that was my purpose,” he said.