‘I’m not a hero:’ Niles man meets family he jumped into lake to save

Because of teamwork between a few community members, everyone in the wrecked van -- a Burghill mother and her five children -- made it out safely

Michael Montler, of Niles, jumped into Girard Lake to pull a Burghill family out of their wrecked van


BURGHILL, Ohio (WKBN) – A Niles man was reunited with the family he helped save on Tuesday after their van slid off the road and into the freezing waters of Girard Lake.

Michael Montler was in the right place at the right time when Andrew’s wife, Michelle Campo, and their five kids spun out on Niles-Vienna Road in Vienna Township and crashed into the lake.

Because of teamwork between him and a few other community members, everyone in the van — a Burghill mother and her five children — made it out safely.

Wednesday night, the family sat at their home with just a few minor bumps and bruises.

Andrew McGregor, the husband and father, hugged Michael and thanked him for saving his family.

“I appreciate it so much,” Andrew told him. “If you weren’t there, it could have been a whole different story.”

Michael jumped into action that morning, breaking the glass and getting Michelle and all five kids — ranging in age from 6 years to 6 months — out safely.

And it doesn’t end there. When Shane Ferguson, who owns an auto shop in Youngstown, found out the family’s only vehicle was totaled, he decided to give them a new van.

“The guy said he had saved for three years to get a van and how they lost it in the accident and everything,” Shane said. “He’s a working gentleman with five kids and I just felt the need to help.”

With everything the family has faced over the past two days, Andrew was overwhelmed by the news.

“I stressed about it immediately but the love for my family, I haven’t even thought about how I was going to replace that and get to that next step. That’s amazing.”

The kids also made cards to give to Michael, who says he’s no hero.

“I’m just a common guy that was going the right way at the right time. But those first responders and these kids are the heroes.”

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