Brandon Gomez Rescued Three Children

Brandon Gomez Rescued Three Children

On Monday night, Nov. 2, 2009, a 25-year-old Central man decided to “get involved” and do more than just “mind his own business.” As a result, five members of a family are still alive, and the worst tragedy in Central history was averted.  Ironically, the man was in just the right place at just the right time to perform a heroic service involving great risk to himself.

At 10 p.m., Brandon Gomez, a Central native and graduate of Central Private School, was driving east on Hooper Road just east of Central Middle School.  Suddenly, a car swerved rapidly across his path about 300 yards ahead.

Gomez described what happened this way:  “I thought it might be a teenage driver who was acting up.  Then I realized the car hadn’t turned into a road or a driveway but into a yard.   I could see that it had landed in a pond and was sinking with its lights still on.  I pulled as close as I could and parked with my lights shining on the car.”

“The people inside had managed to roll down their window and were screaming for help.  The car was filling up with water.  I jumped in the pond.  It was way over my head.  The woman was holding two toddlers, perhaps two or three years old.  I grabbed both of them through the window and held them in one arm as I swam back to shore.”

“The woman was screaming that she had a baby.  I swam back to the vehicle and she pushed it through to me.  It was a newborn and as light as a feather.  I swam back to shore with the child.  The three children and I were laying on the bank of the pond.  By now, the woman and a man had escaped from the car, which was almost completely underwater, and were on the roof of the vehicle.”

“They were completely panicked and said they couldn’t swim, but I was afraid to go back to them because I didn’t think I could haul back an adult in a state of panic, much less two adults.  I told them to jump in the water and kick as hard as they could.  They did, and they made it to shore.”

By then, a resident of a trailer nearby had heard the commotion and helped them into her home to dry off.  It was 48 degrees outside, and the pond water was cold.  Everyone had gotten a bad chill.

The homeowner called 911, and EMS from the Central Fire Station were soon on the scene.  The family was transported to Our Lady of the Lake Hospital.  By Wednesday, they were in good condition and had all been released.

Central firefighters’ underwater dive unit was on the scene Tuesday morning and pulled the vehicle from the water.  A Central Fire official commended Brandon Gomez for his courageous action and said all five members of the family might have perished but for his intervention.  “The adults couldn’t swim and might have died trying to save the children,” he said.

In an interview with the Central City News, Gomez said he reacted automatically and didn’t stop to weigh his actions.

He told his mother, Mary Gomez, “Mama, I felt God was using me to save those people.”

In the interview, he marveled at how many things came together to put him in that place at that time.

“I could have been 20 other places at that moment.  I watched the first half of the Saints game and was supposed to meet a buddy at Sammy’s.  He didn’t show up.  I was halfway to my girlfriend’s house when she told me she was tired and needed to go to sleep.  So I was heading to my friend’s house in Amber Lakes to watch the second half of the game when this happened.”

Gomez, who stands 5’8” and weighs 230, is a lifelong resident of Central.  He earned a degree from Baton Rouge Community College and works as an operator at Dow Chemical.

State police have not yet released the names of the victims or been able to explain the reasons for the wreck.

Gomez said he did not recognize them as being from Central.

Gomez lives in Carmel Acres.  His email address is


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