BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Over the weekend, an off-duty deputy with the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office went above and beyond to rescue a man from a life-threatening situation.

According to EBRSO’s Facebook page, it was the evening of Sunday, Jan. 22 when Detective William Bankston and Baton Rouge attorney Hayden Moore were traveling home and approached a bridge on Staring Lane at Hyacinth Avenue where they saw remnants of a recent car crash that was so severe it had actually split the car in half.

Moore says people were standing along the side of the road, near half of the damaged vehicle. She added that the other half of the car was under the bridge, in the water.

A nearby eyewitness told Moore and Bankston he saw the car hit the side of the bridge, go airborne and split in two.

Image Credit: EBRSO
Image Credit: Eddie Kay of BRPD

Moore said 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.

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

Bankston pulled the young man out of the water, brought him to safety and began performing life-saving measures.

The driver survived the incident, Moore says.

She added, “If you see a police officer today, thank them for their service and for keeping our community safe.”

EBRSO echoed this sentiment, stating, “Protecting and serving on and off the clock! Great job! Thank you for your service!”

Bankston serves as a detective with EBRSO’s Homicide/Violent Crimes Unit.