When Steve Montelongo saw a car sinking in a canal, he jumped into action to save the driver’s life — just like he did nearly 20 years ago, when he rescued two elderly people from their burning home.
On Thursday, the 80-year-old was driving his granddaughter home from a dentist appointment in Modesto, California, when they spotted a car down in a canal. He pulled over, and while there were other people looking down into the water, they weren’t doing anything. Montelongo jumped into the canal, and yanked open the driver’s door, which was unlocked. With water now rushing into the car, he pulled the driver out to safety. The man, who appeared to have a medical episode before the crash, was not injured.
“I don’t consider myself a hero,” Montelongo told KOVR. “I was just a fella that got put in the right place at the right time.” In
“It’s too much,” my friend Beth told me, when we talked not long ago. “First corona and now the fires. Many of us were barely holding on before. We don’t know how to deal with this as well.”
Beth lives in Northern California, where I have spent much of my adult life. Niko, my Finnish husband, and I, the trailing spouse, have been in Helsinki since early April. This separation from America is working a profound change in how I understand my native country, on how I see life in California.
In Finland, COVID-19 has been largely contained since May. The people trust their government politicians and believe in science.