MIAMI (WSVN) - The Miami-Dade County Commission recognized the bus driver who dove in to a canal to help a family from a car that had crashed into it with a commendation.

Elijah Saleem was presented with the commendation on Tuesday for his act of heroism on Feb. 18.

“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,” said Esteban Bovo Jr. of the Miami-Dade County Commission, “paying attention that one of ours, one of our own took it upon himself not to think about himself and go into the water and save a family.”

On that Monday, just after 11 p.m., Saleem was driving on his normal bus routine in Miami Gardens when he witnessed a car crash into a canal.

He immediately responded, securing his bus and radioing for help before heading towards the canal.

“Immediately I just said, I can’t wait, I just need to go see what’s going on,” said Saleem.

He said when he got to the canal he heard a man screaming for help.

“Without thinking, I make my way into the water, and he says ‘Take my son. Can you take my son, please?’ and so I said, ‘Sure.’ Before I even knew it, he just threw his son to me,” said Saleem.

Saleem told himself that they all had to make it out of the crash.

With the child in one arm, he reached out to the man and woman with his other arm and pulled them both to safety.

“You see, these instances don’t always kind of end this way, so we were just all happy that it ended this way,” said Saleem.

The hero has been able to talk to the people he saved since the day of the rescue, saying the reunion was filled with a sense of joy and gratitude.

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