La. woman saved from certain death during flooding reunited with rescuer

DENHAM SPRINGS, La. -- In Baton Rouge last month, David Phung -- a land surveyor by trade -- demonstrated he’s pretty good in the water, too -- saving a dog and her owner from floodwaters.

This week, all three were reunited.

In the middle of August’s historic Louisiana flood, 27-year-old Phung jumped in the raging waters in Baton Rouge to rescue a woman in a red car sinking to her certain death.

“She had gotten into a deep part of the water and that’s where you see that the car started to sink and she was actually about to be in real trouble,” said Phung. 

In the chaos, Phung managed to pull 53-year-old Haley Brouillette out to safety -- one of many rescues he made that week, as part of the Cajun River rescue squad. He also rescued her dog. 

Brouillette had just gotten out of the hospital after kidney surgery. She was on her way to pick up medication when she drove into the floodwaters with her trusted dog Sassy. 

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Hailey Brouillette’s dog Sassy sits on a box of supplies given to her by David Phung who rescued her and Sassy from her sinking car in recent floodwaters, after the two reunited for the first time in Denham Springs, La., Monday, Sept. 12, 2016. 

Gerald Herbert, AP


“I was more scared for her than anything -- more scared for her,” said Brouillette. 

A month after her brush with death, Brouillette is still homeless. Her street, washed away with the floodwaters. 

This week she was reunited with the stranger who rescued her. He brought her supplies, and dog treats for Sassy.

“I think it is divine intervention I believe that in my heart and my soul,” she said. 

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Hailey Brouillette waits with her dog Sassy before reuniting for the first time with David Phung, who rescued her and Sassy from her sinking car in recent floodwaters, in Denham Springs, La., Monday, Sept. 12, 2016. 

Gerald Herbert, AP

Proving the only thing that can match Mother Nature’s worst is human nature’s best.

“It’s just who we are in Louisiana -- we help people in times of need,” said Phung. “I was put in that place to help her out.”