Firefighter hailed hero for cuddling little girl at horror crash scene

A US firefighter has been hailed a hero for picking up a little girl and hugging her to distract her from a horrific car crash involving her mother and sister.

A number of cars were involved in the crash when a truck crossed into oncoming traffic on a San Diego highway on Wednesdy and two women were killed.

The four-year-old girl and her family were in one of the vehicles and footage shows firefighter Ryan Lopez picking her up and rocking her as paramedics treated her mother and sister.

A firefighter has been hailed a hero for picking up a little girl and hugging her to distract her from a car crash. Photo: NBC
A number of cars were involved in the crash when a truck crossed into oncoming traffic. Photo: NBC

"I was showing her tools in my jacket and keeping her occupied by showing her parts of the fire engine," Mr Lopez told NBC.

"But she really just wanted to hang on and feel safe."

Footage shows Mr Lopez holding the little girl and walking away from the crash as it was a scene "no child should have to see."

The little girl's six-year-old sister was taken to hospital with a suspected broken neck. Photo: NBC
Mr Lopez, who recently became a father, said his reaction came naturally. Photo: NBC

He sat her down briefly to give her a drink of water, but then picked her up again and she rested her head on his shoulder.

Her six-year-old sister was taken to hospital with a suspected broken neck and her mother was treated on the scene for minor injuries.

Mr Lopez, who recently became a father, said his reaction came naturally as he is "learning how to be a dad."

He said he does not consider himself a hero and said any first responder in his position would have acted the same way.

Footage shows Mr Lopez holding the little girl and walking away from the crash. Photo: NBC