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Sheriff: Deputy used ‘brute strength’ to rescue children from sinking truck

Deputy Daniel Haydel dove into the canal and punched out the window of the vehicle, the sheriff said

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Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office, WBRZ

By Ellyn Couvillion
The Advocate, Baton Rouge, La.

ASCENSION PARISH, La. — In the middle of the night, in a misty rain and fog, a deputy dove in a canal to punch out the window of a truck sinking in the water and pull a mother and her two children to safety, Ascension Parish Sheriff Bobby Webre said.

Webre said it appeared that the woman driving the truck veered off the right side of George Lambert Road near St. Amant, then over-corrected, spinning out and sending the truck backwards into New River Canal. The crash occurred about 3:30 a.m. Wednesday.

A passenger, another woman, was able to get out of the sinking truck and sit on its roof to call 911, Webre said.

Deputies helped the passenger to safety, but the driver and her two children were still in the truck.

Webre said deputies Daniel Haydel and Jamie Wolfe were at the scene, along with two Sorrento firefighters. “They could hear crying and moaning.

“Out of brute strength, Deputy Haydel dove into the water and broke the truck window and was able to pull the mother and the two children, ages 3 and 4, to safety,” Webre said.

The mother and one of the children were taken to a hospital in critical condition, Webre said.

Haydel was checked out at the hospital for what he thought might be a broken wrist, but it appears his injury is a sprain, the sheriff said.

Louisiana State Police are investigating the crash.

(c)2021 The Advocate, Baton Rouge, La.