Sent on 7/31/2012 2:32:40 PM
On July 29, 2012, at approximately 4:34 p.m., deputies of the Pima County Sheriff’s Department Search and Rescue Unit, officers of the Marana Police Department and crew members of the Northwest Fire Department responded to a swift water rescue at North Silverbell Road and West Benjamin Road. Unified Command was established between the three agencies. Following a quick evaluation of district boundaries, the location was determined to be within the Sheriff’s Department’s jurisdiction. Upon arrival, rescue units found a Toyota Corolla passenger car trapped in the wash. There were multiple swift moving water flows that had to be overcome by rescuers. It was determined that the vehicle was occupied by three adults. A 71 year-old male and two females aged 69 and 93. Swiftwater Rescue Technicians from the Sheriff’s Department and Northwest Fire Department made their way to the vehicle and brought all occupants to safety, carrying the 93 year old woman in a stokes basket. The other two were able to walk out of the rushing water with assistance of the rescuers. Nobody was harmed in this incident. Further evaluation of the scene showed that the passenger car became stuck in a hole that had formed when a portion of the asphalt roadway washed away; however, it could not be seen due to the flowing water. The car got stuck in the hole and became trapped. At the time this release was published, Sheriff’s Auxilliary Volunteers were still on scene to ensure nobody passed through the treacherous area until the roadway had been evaluated by the County Highway Department. The Pima County Sheriff’s Department would like to once again advise motorists not to enter flooded washes, as there is not only the danger of swift flowing water, but also that of invisible damage to the roadway. When in doubt, turn around!