Dayton mailman receives Hero of the Year award after rescuing young girl

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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WATCH: Dayton postal worker honored in DC for heroic actions

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

UPDATE @ 5:15 PM:

Donte Cotton was in Washington D.C. Wednesday to receive the National Association of Letter Carrier’s 2017 Central Region Hero award. Cotton spoke about how honored he was to receive the award and how being celebrated like this was, “Unimaginable.”

Cotton detailed what transpired the day he saved a young girl from a car wreck by crawling on broken glass. “It was a typical work day and I was outside when I heard a bang. My co-worker and I were greeted by a vehicle that was lying on its roof,  I then saw a little girl and my father instincts kicked in.”

Crawling through a tapestry of broken glass Cotton layed on his back to proceed to get the girl out of the broken window.

The youngster and her mother were later taken to the hospital and treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

Donte, who also recently received media attention for attending to a woman on his new route after she was beaten during a break-in at her home, doesn’t think his actions were a big deal.

“I wouldn’t call myself a hero,” the second-year letter carrier said.

The judges weren’t the only ones impressed. Just last week, congressman, Mike Turner of Dayton, took to the House floor to praise Donte’s, “Acts of true heroism.”

Cotton also thanked all of his fellow employees, the voters, judges and everyone who put the story together. “It is truly a blessing and I thank everyone for sharing this honor with me,” Cotton said as he fought back tears.


A Dayton postal worker who crawled through broken glass to rescue a baby girl from a car that flipped onto its roof has been named Central Hero of the Year.

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On April 5, 2016, Donte Cotton and a supervisor were outside their post office when they noticed a vehicle lying on its roof after hearing a loud sound. The car had hit a pole, causing the transformer to malfunction and spark and a woman exited the car appearing concerned about something in the back seat,  according to the National Association of Letter Carriers.

“I realized there was a toddler in the rear of the vehicle moving around”, Cotton said.

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According to Cotton, his fatherly instincts kicked in and by crawling through broken glass on the passenger side of the vehicle, he was able to get the little girl out of the car through the broken window.

The young girl and her mother were taken to an area hospital and treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

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That is not the only act of bravery that Cotton is being praised for. He also made media attention for attending to a woman on his new route after she was beaten during a break-in at her home.

Cotton doesn’t think his actions were a big deal and said that he wouldn’t call himself a hero, but The Heroes of the Year judges thought otherwise, marveling at how the carrier put himself in danger to help others.

He will be among several letter carriers honored today in Washington D.C. by the National Association of Letter Carriers.

Letter carriers who rescued a young man from a house fire, helped police defuse a tense standoff with an armed man, and raised money for a disabled-accessible van for a young girl will be among others and five fellow honorees that represent thousands of letter carriers who not only deliver the mail to 155 million households and businesses six or even seven days a week, but often assist in situations involving accidents, fires, crimes or health crises.

Due to the specific circumstances of Cotton’s rescue of the young girl, including the car probably having fluids leaking, and him going into an unknown situation to rescue a baby, he will be named NALC’S 2017 Central Region Hero.

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