Homeless hero: Man sleeping at bus stop saves Brays Bayou crash victims

Jeff Ehling Image
Monday, August 16, 2021
Good Samaritan helps rescue woman who crashed into Brays Bayou
Gabriel Moncada said he lost a place to live "at the right time" when he saw the crash happen while staying at a nearby bus stop.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Three women were taken to the hospital after a car crashed into Brays Bayou in southwest Houston Monday morning.

Video from the scene shows the car upside down in the water.

Gabriel Moncada, a witness at the scene, ran down to the bayou when he heard the crash. He said two of the women involved were already getting out of the water, but the third, believed to be the driver, was still inside.

He helped the woman get to safety and said he used previous lifeguard training to help the woman stabilize her neck and spine after she complained of pain.

"Turns out, they were in the water. The car flipped upside down, so I hurried up. As I was going down, I called 911. One of the ladies couldn't move. I don't know if her back was broken or her neck," Moncada recalled. "I remembered I had taken a first aid class when I was a lifeguard when I was younger. So I just held her neck from not moving either which way and waited for EMTs to get down there to the bayou area."

Officials say two of the victims are OK, and the third had non-life threatening injuries that required medical attention.

Witnesses told firefighters the car was seen speeding down Bellaire Boulevard. The driver then turned north onto Wilcrest and lost control. That's when the car went through a parking lot and into Brays Bayou.

Moncada saw the crash because he was staying at a bus stop nearby. He told ABC13 reporter Jeff Ehling he just recently lost housing. He said he lost his phone when he jumped into the bayou to rescue the woman.

"Just my luck, man. I happened to get kicked out of my house at the right time," Moncada said.

A dive team went under water at the scene to make sure there weren't any other victims. Rescue workers say everyone involved got out of the water.

Houston police investigators are working to determine why the driver was going so fast in the first place.

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