HAMILTON COUNTY, IND. — David Baker’s family said he died saving the friend he cared about the most. The 42-year-old was on his way home after visiting his sister in Anderson early Saturday morning, when his truck drove into a flooded road near 266th Street and Mount Pleasant Road near Arcadia.
Baker is the second victim who died from the high water in Central Indiana. 64-year-old Robert Morgan, also of Arcadia, was driving down the same road Friday night, when his car was swept away by the flood waters from Cicero Creek.
If there was a way to measure the relationship between man and man’s best friend, Paul Baker said it would be the silhouette of his little brother’s head in his truck, with his 8-year-old Black Lab mix, Tia, right by his side.
“You couldn’t tear them apart. She knows what time he comes home. She can hear his truck even in a closed garage,” said Paul Baker. “When you see her in the passenger seat in the middle of the seat, you had a dog’s head; you had a man’s head going down the road.”
Deputies said David called 911 just moments before his truck went under. Officers responded to the scene and heard someone yelling for help, but couldn’t find the driver.
“We just couldn’t get after him in time,” said Paul. “When we were walking, it was rough when you had binoculars and think you see something floating, and you don’t.”
Hours later, Baker’s truck was found in the water. The family also found Tia, frightened and running around the banks. They continued to look for David, but the record rainfall proved too powerful for dive teams, who had to stop the search for the day.
“It was very bad. We tried to walk along the banks. The water had just washed through the woods, straight out into the fields,” said Paul. “It was running so bad, there’s no way anything could stay there.”
Crews found David’s body about 100 yards from his vehicle at around 10 a.m. Sunday. The passenger door was open.
“When we saw [rescue crews] stop walking, we knew,” said Paul. “I can guarantee you he saved the dog. He let her out and he didn’t make it.
It’s an outcome Paul’s family both wanted yet feared. They describe David as a guy who would do anything for anyone – especially for his dog he called his child.
“For what he did for his daughter, you couldn’t ask for anybody else,” said Paul. “He did right. He did good.”