Ascension Parish deputy nominated for valor award

Staff Report
Daniel Haydel

The Louisiana Sheriffs’ Association has recognized deputy Daniel Haydel of the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office as one of the 2021 Deputy Valor Award nominees.

Louisiana sheriffs may nominate an individual for the Deputy Valor Award if they want to recognize an individual for their unquestionable performance above and beyond the call of duty and for any extreme life-threatening acts of bravery.

On Jan. 27, Haydel had just arrived home after completing his 12-hour shift, when he heard a call come in advising that a vehicle had careened off a state highway, landed in a local bayou, and was submerged. Since he lived close by, he decided to assist in response.

Haydel was first on the scene, and he quickly entered the water and could hear screams from children trapped inside the vehicle. He broke a car window with his fist and, assisted by additional deputies and firefighters, removed two children (ages 3 and 4), and a 24-year-old female to the bank of the canal, where CPR was administered.

While administering help, Haydel fractured his wrist in his efforts. All victims were transported to nearby hospitals, where they had a pulse. However, two succumbed to their injuries in the weeks after the accident.

In a separate incident on Aug. 16, 2020, Haydel was dispatched to the area of Hwy. 22 near Laurel Ridge Canal for a vehicle that for reasons unknown exited the roadway and entered the water. The driver explained that the vehicle had already begun to quickly fill with water. The driver was able to climb to the roof of the vehicle where she remained until Haydel entered the water and safely rescued her.

Haydel has never hesitated to place his own life on the line in order to save others. His courage and clear thinking are a testament to his good training and terrific instincts as a law enforcement officer.

Haydel has worked for APSO since 2014, and continues to serve living out the daily mantra of “service before self.”