Majiah Washington, an 18-year-old who works at a daycare, recounted the harrowing events during a news conference on Thursday.
She described waking up to a flash outside her window and soon realizing that an electricity pole had fallen, bringing down a power line onto a vehicle.
However, the teenager, too, slipped and touched the still-active power line. With her neighbors incapacitated and the situation rapidly unfolding, Washington felt compelled to act.
“I knew I had to do something because the baby started moving,” she explained. Despite the 911 operator’s warnings about the danger, Washington courageously ran to the baby’s rescue. She managed to grab the child, who was still nestled in his father’s arms, without sustaining any injuries herself.
Rick Graves, a spokesperson for Portland Fire and Rescue, commended Washington’s bravery during Thursday’s news conference.
He emphasized the selflessness displayed by the 18-year-old, highlighting that the toddler’s survival was a testament to her heroic act.
“We do have, fortunately with us, a toddler that is going to be able to thrive and do what they possibly can as they move forward, and they’re here in part because of the heroic acts of a member of our community,” Graves stated.
The causes of death for the three individuals involved in the incident are still pending, as the community mourns the loss of lives and reflects on the remarkable courage displayed by a young woman in the face of tragedy.