Insights > Helping on a moment’s notice

Helping on a moment’s notice


The sight of emergency services arriving on the scene of an accident on July 10 brought great relief to bystanders, as Aaron Morehead finished tying off the end of a 100-foot hand line to his service truck. On other end of the rope, which would normally be used while the Entergy New Orleans lineman is working high in the air on a utility pole, was instead providing a lifeline for a truck driver whose vehicle had crashed into Lake Pontchartrain.

Just minutes earlier, Morehead was driving to work in New Orleans East, when drivers on the I-10 Twin Span bridge began to brake. He soon passed an overturned truck tanker blocking two lanes of traffic to his left but noticed that the cab of the tanker was nowhere to be seen.

“It was second-nature to pull over and do anything I could to help,” said Morehead. “When I didn’t see the cab of the truck, I knew it had to have gone over the side of the bridge, so I pulled over and immediately started searching the water for any survivors.”

Morehead scanned the water for what felt like a full minute, seeing only the bubbles coming up from the air pocket out of the submerged truck cabin. Someone quickly joined Morehead, and when the two leaned over the guard rail on the edge of the bridge, they spotted the truck driver fighting the current by hanging onto a piece of debris underneath the bridge.

The Entergy New Orleans lineman ran back to his service truck to grab his hand line, stretched it out and lowered the end of the line with a hook into the water. Morehead used the weight of the hook to swing the line back and forth like a pendulum, which landed just ten feet away from the struggling truck driver underneath the bridge. When it was clear the driver was unable to swim to the line, Morehead pulled it back up and dropped it down again, this time dropping the rope perfectly across the driver’s forearm.

Morehead maneuvered him all the way out from under the bridge against the tide. After the other end of the line was secured to his Entergy service truck, emergency services arrived and dropped a life ring down to the truck driver.

Morehead never met the man he helped save, as he hopped into his truck and continued his way to the morning’s work assignment.

“I did what I could, but once emergency services arrived, I had another job to do,” said Morehead. “I went straight to a site in New Orleans East to start my shift.”

Morehead said that working on power lines is his passion, and his nine years of service with Entergy New Orleans has prepared him to spring into action when he recognizes the potential for danger.

Matthew Bennett
Communications Specialist II