Covering Louisiana

Jun 1, 2014 9:45 PM by AP

Man helps after pickup plunges into Pontchartrain

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A Louisiana man said he didn't stop to think before jumping into the water to help a motorist whose pickup truck careened off a causeway and into Lake Pontchartrain.

Alvin Pike told NOLA.com/The Times Picayune that he saw the accident happen while driving Saturday from his home in Covington to his job in New Orleans.

Pike, 45, said the pickup in front of him hit the left guardrail, moved abruptly to the right side of the bridge and fell into the lake.

"It amazed me how easily a vehicle could go over the guardrail," he said.

Pike slammed his brakes, waved for traffic to stop, peeled off his work pants, shoes and shirt and jumped in the lake. He said the pickup driver was floating outside the truck and, by luck, the driver was hanging onto a life vest that had been in the pickup.

Pike said other motorists threw down ropes to pull out the pickup driver, whom officials initially identified only as a 26-year-old man from River Ridge, Louisiana. They also pulled tossed Pike a life vest and pulled the Good Samaritan back onto the bridge.

Pike said the man was alone in the pickup and had a cut on his face.

Pike, who is operations manager at Acme Oyster House in the French Quarter, said he doesn't have any rescue or lifeguard training. He joked that he jumped in, "Probably because I don't think a lot before I do things."

"I didn't think," he said. "I just did it."

Pike said he thinks others would react the same way.

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