Heroic 80-Year-Old Saves Man From Sinking Car in California

Not all heroes wear capes and Steve Montelongo is a testament to the veracity of the statement. While he doesn’t consider himself a hero, he has saved the lives of three people during the last two decades.

Steve Montelongo, the hero
Heroic 80-Year-Old Saves Man From Sinking Car in California

The 80-year-old man was in the right place at the right time, when he pulled a man out of his sinking car after he had accidentally driven into a canal. Montelongo jumped to the man’s help without any hesitation or regard to his own well-being.

The accident unfolded while the elderly man was taking his granddaughter home after a dentist’s appointment. They had stopped at a traffic light when the girl saw the car fall into the canal.

Montelongo Yanked the Driver Out of the Car

Montelongo got out of his car to check out the scene and instantly noticed that water had begun rushing into the vehicle of the trapped driver. He walked into the canal and managed to open the automobile’s back door, which fortunately was unlocked. As the water began to fill in faster, the 80-year-old managed to yank the distressed 62-year-old Jack Swarts from the car by his shirt.

A car sinking in the water
Heroic 80-Year-Old Saves Man From Sinking Car in California

He later said in an interview – “I don’t consider myself a hero. I was just a fella that got put in the right place at the right time” – humbling words from a genuine modern-day good samaritan.

He Also Saved Two Other People in 2003

This, however, wasn’t Montelongo’s sole act of heroism. Nearly 20 years ago, he helped two of his neighbors get to safety as their house was caught in a blaze.

He was 62 years old at the time and had to kick open their neighbor’s front door to pull out 80-year-old Kathirne Mattox and 79-year-old Wayne Maxwell. During the rescue, Montelongo suffered chest pains and had to be hospitalized but made a swift recovery.

He was awarded the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission medal for this bravery and act of heroism.

Wallabies Munching on Truffles Shed Light on Forest Conservation

Although feeding truffles – one of the most expensive ingredients – to wallabies might sound strange, it seems that this might be an excellent way to help maintain the remaining forest systems. As it turns out, the survival of the adorable animals is very important for the survival of the forest.

Wallabies Research on Wallabies

A wallaby looks like a smaller version of the kangaroo and is also a member of the marsupial family. The research on how a swamp wallaby spreads truffle seeds in its environment was led by Dr. Melissa Danks from the Edith Cowan University, alongside her colleagues from the University of New England. The researchers fed truffles to the wallabies and tracked the time it took for truffle spores to become present in the animals’ excrement. The results showed spores within 51 hours to up to 3 days. By attaching temporary GPS trackers on the animals, researchers learned that the animals could end up releasing truffle spores through their excrement more than 4000 feet from the original feeding site. This makes them very effective at dispersing truffles throughout the forest.

Truffles The Significance of Truffles

This discovery has wide-ranging implications on forest conservation for several reasons. While mushrooms release their spores into the air, truffles are found underground and the spores are located within the truffle’s flesh. That’s why truffles need to be eaten by an animal in order for their spores to be released elsewhere. Why are truffles so important? They live in mutually-beneficial relationships with the trees and plants under which they develop. They help these plants take nutrients and water from the soil, and even protect them from diseases. As browsing animals, wallabies feed on leaves, ferns, as well as mushrooms, and truffles. Dr. Melissa Danks states that, with forest systems becoming more fragmented, understanding the dispersal of truffle spores and this animal’s role in that process is crucial!

A forest at sunset