Road to Recovery: Woman saves motorcyclist while searching for cat near bayou

An Alexandria man was rescued back in March after getting in a motorcycle accident and landing in a bayou.
Published: Sep. 16, 2022 at 6:07 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 16, 2022 at 6:13 PM CDT
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RAPIDES PARISH, La. (KALB) - An Alexandria man is on the road to recovery after a motorcycle accident in March that nearly ended his life. But, a peculiar set of circumstances brought a rescuer into his life, and the story behind the rescue is almost unbelievable.

Carey Hamblin was headed to lunch with her daughter back on March 19 when something happened that every driver dreads. She thought she hit an animal on Hot Wells Road.

“We got up to a curve past the house, and I heard a thud under my car,” said Hamblin. “Did I hit that cat? Did it fall out of my car?”

She made a u-turn and pulled into a driveway that lines up with the bayou. She spotted the cat running away, but she walked along the road to see if she could find it.

“Something told me to check down that way,” said Hamblin, motioning to the opposite direction of the road.

In the bayou, down a steep embankment, she heard a noise. But, she did not spot a cat, she spotted a man’s arm.

“Is that a person swimming in the bayou? Surely not,” she said. “It’s March!”

It was not a swimmer, but a motorcyclist. Julius Fusilier of Alexandria had been in an accident about two hours before. He was thrown from his bike past the trees into the water. About 40 feet away from him, in the thick of the trees, was his banged up bike.

“His helmet was the only thing keeping his head floating at that point,” said Hamblin.

Fusilier had been riding with friends that day when he got separated from the pack. He thinks his tire blew out, or maybe he hit some gravel before he was thrown.

Hamblin is a deputy with the Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office and knew what to do. She stabilized Fusilier, who was conscious, and called 911. The Cotile Volunteer Fire Department was the first on the scene.

“He was doing surprisingly well for the trip that he took,” said John Rudisill, with the fire department.

They got Fusilier out with a backboard and a ladder. A friend who circled back to find him contacted his wife.

“His right shoulder was crushed,” said Linda Fusilier, Julius’ wife. “His sternum and clavicle were broken. Of course, his back, which was the most serious injury.”

But, Julius barely remembers all of that.

“All of a sudden it was like bam! It’s like I hit a brick wall,” he said of what he remembers of the crash.

He remembers gaining consciousness in the water and hearing Hamblin’s car pull up. He shouted for help.

“I was just thinking, this is up to me,” he said. “I gotta figure out a way to get out of here.”

Fusilier ended up spending two weeks in the hospital and two months in a rehab facility. Hamblin chalks it up to a miracle for finding him.

“I don’t know if anyone would have ever found him,” she said.

Julius’ wife calls Hamblin an angel.

“That’s the truth,” she told us. “Angels come in all shapes and sizes. Carey was ours.”

Now, you are probably wondering if Julius is back on his motorcycle. He told us he has traded in that lifestyle and is now sporting a brand new Mazda Miata convertible.

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