Joshua Traylor, his girlfriend Alexus Green, and her 3-year-old son were feeding ducks on a bridge near the Clinton River in Mount Clemens, Michigan, when Green's son slipped off the bridge and into the water.
Despite the fact that Traylor didn't know how to swim, he jumped into the water after the little boy in an attempt to save him.
According to the Detroit Free Press, Ron Elko, a fisherman who was standing nearby, saw what was happening and jumped in to lend a helping hand.
Elko was able to get the little one to safety, but when he turned back for Traylor, he was gone.
Sadly, after desperately searching for Traylor in the water for 45 minutes, police located his body with the use of an underwater camera.
Traylor was just 24 years old.
Macomb County Sheriff's Captain John Roberts told the Macomb Daily that it's believed Traylor got caught in the current. The water is believed to be 10 to 15 feet deep in that particular part of the river. He said of the current:
“It's very sad. The river's current is pretty fast and if you're not sure of what you're doing, you can get caught up in it very quickly.”
Green thanked Elko for his selflessness on Facebook:
She wrote, in part:
I believe this man deserves a huge thank you and all the appreciation in the world. Ron Elko, [was] a stranger at the time, not knowing who we were and also not a swimmer, took no hesitation to jump in the water with me and Joshua [to] help get my son out. If it wasn't for Joshua and this man, my son would [have] never been found in that water.
You really impacted my life and for you to not know us and lay in the grass with me and cry [SIC] with me like you knew us for a lifetime just brought more and more tears to my eyes. While their were people more than able to jump in that water and help, they chose to pull their phones out and watch but you, Ron, you dove into that water like it was your priority and got my son out...
As for Traylor, Green now calls him her hero for giving his own life in order to save her little boy's.
Traylor was laid to rest on Saturday. Green uses her Facebook page to make sure his memory is never forgotten.