HEROIC MOMENT: Aldine running back Jayden Payne pulls woman, child from flood waters
HOUSTON - Sitting at home, due to the floodwaters around his area, Carl Semler's phone started to buzz.
What was coming across his phone were photos of Aldine junior running back Jayden Payne standing next to high water outside of Aldine High School, holding a little girl in his arms. The little girl was the daughter of the woman that Payne had helped pull from the water just minutes before.
"Wins are great, we all want to win on the field, but when you're a winner in life, more than anything we want to raise young men to be winners in life," Semler said. "To me, today Jayden Payne had a win in life that is bigger than North Shore beating Duncanville on the last play of the game. This is a win that eclipses anything that you do on a field or a court. This is what education is all about.
"At Aldine, this is what we emphasize. If you live right and you treat others well and you do everything you can to help everybody else then the winning will take care of itself."
Mustang football player Jayden Payne jumped into the water to help save a woman and her toddler when the car they were in went into the ditch running beside Aldine HS. Great job Jayden...and the 2 other men who risked their lives to help another! @AldineHS_AISD @AldineISD pic.twitter.com/dyCWoCsx7l
— @GungHoMustangs (@gunghomustangs) September 19, 2019
Around 12:30 p.m., the Aldine football players and Aldine Offensive Coordinator Louis Horton were heading to lunch when an accident on West Road. Because of the accident a BMW SUV went into the bayou that runs right next to the Aldine field house.
"When I saw the car go in the water, I just reacted," Payne said. "I was like I'm just going to run over there and put my life at risk because I felt like their lives were more precious. She had her daughter with her. I'd rather save her life and risk mine for that. It was just a moment for me."
Once Payne got in the water, the woman and daughter were out of the care but the woman's head was the only one up, while her daughter's was underneath.
"That's when i jumped in and I went behind her, grabbed her by her waist and I pushed her to the grass, where she put her daughter on the grass. I pushed her more up on the grass so she could get up on it. That's when I got up."
Payne did cut his foot while saving the woman on debris, which could include snakes or any other item you can think of, that was floating in the water. Semler said the Aldine athletic trainer treated Payne for the injury and he is going to be OK.
Once it was seen that everyone was OK, Horton took out his phone and started taking photos and sent those to Semler.
"Jayden wasn't even thinking about that, he just jumped in and saved a woman and her baby," Semler said. "Jayden Payne is a young man the world needs to know about. There's a lot of stuff going on right now that paints young people in very negative tones. Here at Aldine we take a lot of pride that young men like Jayden Payne are there putting others ahead of themselves."
So, when did it set in what Payne had done?
"It set in when I was at home in the shower," Payne said. "I was like, Oh my gosh, I just saved two people's lives. I wasn't even thinking about it. I could tell she couldn't swim, especially with her daughter in her arms. Her daughter was like four.
Since the tweet went out around 2 p.m., it has been retweeted over 50 times and liked more than 130 times.
In the comments below the original Tweet included requests to speak to Payne and Semler from Good Morning America and CBS National News/CBS This Morning.
"It is overwhelming, to be honest," Semler said. "I called him and congratulated him. Told him how I proud I am of him. Just how what an outstanding young man he is to do something so selfless and to be himself and be true to himself when he talks to the press. He's a great young man.
"It's a great moment for him in his life. It's something that decades down the road as long as he lives he'll be able to look back and say 'In that moment, I did something that other people just wouldn't'."
While at home, Payne's phone also started to ring.
Speaking to local media to the national media is weird, Payne said because just this morning he was a normal kid from Aldine High School.
"It's kind of weird because just yesterday I was a normal kid, now I'm a local hero," Payne said.