“His heart is huge and he always felt he had to help somebody,” recalled the father of a 24-year-old Michigan man who died trying to save the life of his girlfriend’s toddler son. Joshua Traylor, drowned after he jumped into the Clinton River last Sunday (April 9).

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Traylor and his girlfriend, Alexus Green, along with the 3-year-old boy, were feeding ducks on a boardwalk when the child fell into the water which was between 10-15 feet deep. Despite not knowing how to swim, Traylor, jumped into the river to save the boy, but began to struggle.

“It’s very sad,” Macomb County Sheriff’s Capt. John Roberts said. “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.”

An unidentified 36-year-old man who was fishing nearby heard the commotion subsequently rescued the boy but was unable to locate Traylor. Once the boy was safely back on the boardwalk, Green jumped in the water, though she too was unsuccessful in finding Traylor.

Divers from the Mt. Clemens and Harrison and Shelby township fire department and sheriff’s office used underwater cameras to recover Traylor’s body  roughly an hour later.

“Never [in a] million years did I think something so heartbroken would happen to me so quickly right in my face,” Traylor’s brokenhearted girlfriend wrote on Facebook. “Joshua, I love you.”

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