Keyla McCree, 7, had crawled out of her third story apartment building window and was dancing precariously on top of the air conditioner when spotted by neighbours and bus driver Steve St Bernard, 52, who had just got off of work.
St Bernard positioned himself under Keyla, who has autism, ready to catch her when she fell.
“I just prayed that I’d catch her,” said St Bernard to the New York Daily News. “I was right underneath her.”
When the girl toppled off of the air conditioner, St Bernard caught her, and miraculously prevented her from sustaining any injuries, despite the three-story fall. Both were rushed to Coney Island Hospital where St Bernard was treated for a torn tendon in his left bicep.
Keyla’s mother was in another room taking care of her other child, having just put down Keyla for a nap, when she got a knock on her door that her daughter was in danger.
The apartment did not have the window guards required by New York City law for apartments with young children because the family had recently installed an air conditioner the previous Sunday, a loop hole in the law.
Keyla had pushed aside the accordion between the air conditioner and the window and climbed out on top of it. She was able to do so because the air conditioner was damaged, which Keyla’s mother did not know.
“Not a scratch on her. The man caught her, thank God. It’s a miracle,” said Keyla’s mother, Saleema McCree, to the New York Post.
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