Man lucky to be alive after car was trapped, submerged in extremely cold floodwater
BATON ROUGE - One man is lucky to be alive after submerging his car in high floodwaters Friday morning.
Thursday's heavy thunderstorms leveled the streets with the ditches in the area near Port Hudson Pride Road near Liberty Road.
Barricades blocked off the dangerous roadways, but one driver chose to take a chance that he would soon regret.
"Every time the water gets high someone goes around the barricades and we end up in a situation like this every year," Captain Shaine Powers with the Pride Fire Department said.
The Pride Fire Department responded to the call only to find a man clinging onto a tree for dear life.
The driver tried to escape his vehicle filling with water, but after his body hit the ice-cold water, it started to shut down.
"When we got here we heard screaming. The patient was caught up in the woods in some vines. I went to get as close as I could," Gordon Segraves with the Pride Fire Department said.
Firefighters from neighboring departments also came to the driver's rescue. All making an effort to save the man from the extremely cold water by boat. Some first responders even used their personal boats in the rescue.
"We put one firefighter in the boat, stretched the boat out to him, and the firefighter was able to grab the man and pull him back in the boat. We drug that back up and brought him to the dry land," Powers said.
First responders were concerned even after saving the driver. They say he could barely move or speak.
"He was going into hypothermic shock real bad. He was cramped up really bad and needed to get to the hospital pretty quickly," Powers said.
Though these emergency crews put their lives on the line to save another, they say they wouldn't have it any other way.
"We don't sit there and worry about ourselves. We know we have to get to the patient, get them out, and save their life," Powers said.
They are happy to help, but urge drivers to remember one thing.
"Please don't go around the barricades. It's not worth it," Segraves said.
Authorities also say just one inch of water could cause your vehicle to lose traction, ending in a nightmare of a situation like the one today in Pride.
The driver was immediately transported to a nearby hospital by EMS in serious condition, though officials say his injuries are not life-threatening.