ST. LOUIS – On July 28, flash flooding struck the region for the second time in three days. St. Louis’ West End neighborhood was hit hard. St. Louis native Roslyn Brewer was visiting from California when the torrential rains struck.
“It was raining really, really hard and I pulled over. I saw two cars go past me, so I thought it must be okay to go,” Brewer said.
But when she turned from Hodiamont Avenue onto Horton Place, she hit rising flood waters.
“Before I knew it, the water was up to the steering wheel and I couldn’t get out,” Brewer said.
Thankfully, St. Louis County Detective Bureau of Transit Police Detective Matthew Shute was driving by.
“I looked over and I saw a woman screaming for help,” Shute said. “I immediately told my partner, Officer Amanda Lobin, to pull over and I started taking off my gear. And I just ran and jumped in.”
In a video taken by a Metro Bus driver and released by St. Louis County Police, you see Det. Shute swims to reach Brewer, where he helps force her door open. Officer Anthony Beffa arrived and also took the plunge, making sure everyone got out of the water.
“You’ve got all kinds of different hazards, not just the water, but the car going under and possibly sucking both of them under. We had the lightning going on,” Beffa said.
Metro Bus driver Harold Watkins gave her a dry place to wait for her brother. She says she never got a chance to thank her rescuers.
“I wasn’t even able to get their names or to say thank you or anything,” Brewer said. “They made sure I was safe on the bus and they were off to help the next person.”
Shute and Beffa say that water that day was like nothing they have ever experienced. They were just grateful to help.
“It wasn’t just us. We just happened to be the ones caught on camera. Everybody was also doing the same thing out there. Everyone was helping any way they could,” Beffa said.