BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD)– U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) invited a detective with the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office to the State of the Union in Washington D.C. This was done after a post went viral on social media about the detective saving a life while off-duty.

According to a post shared on the EBRSO Facebook page, on the evening of Sunday, January 22, Detective William Bankston, was traveling home and not working. He approached a bridge on Staring Lane at Hyacinth Avenue where he saw the remnants of a recent car crash that was so severe it had actually split the car in half.

Bankston realized there was no sign of the driver in the half of the vehicle on land, so without hesitation, he called 911 and made his way into the freezing water under the bridge.

“It started to go through my head, where’s the front half of this car you know?” said Bankston “I became worried for whoever was driving the vehicle.”

The deputy found the driver, a young man whose name has not been released, trapped under the car with his head pinned underwater.

Bankston says, “I was able to pull them to the surface, and perform medical aid.” He also says the driver is suffering from a severely broken back.

“I think it was just truly at the right place,” says Bankston “right time on that day.”

Bankston’s girlfriend posted what happened online, and his story went viral. A few days later he received a call from Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy, inviting him to Washington D.C. for the State of the Union address.

Cassidy says many politicians bring their wives, but he felt like he should ask Bankston to be his plus one for the address. Cassidy says, “He is here for a reason. He’s a hero.”

Cassidy says there are so many negative people in our country, he believes people like Detective Bankston help bring that positivity back.

“That’s because of the values that he represents. That he not only represents, but that he employed” says Cassidy “That motivated him to save a life… and so for me, he’s my hero.”

The East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office awarded him for his heroic efforts with a “saving a life award.”