Photos: Neighbors tried to warn man who died in Wickenburg flash flood

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by Carina Sonn

azfamily.com

Posted on July 16, 2012 at 6:25 AM

Updated Monday, Jul 16 at 7:46 AM

WICKENBURG, Ariz. -- A man was swept away in a flooded wash after trying to get back home on Saturday.

Richard Evans, 65, had made it across the wash earlier to check out the storm, according to neighbors, and was trying to take the dirt road back home when he ran into trouble.

Neighbors say several people tried to discourage him from driving across the flooded roadway, including his wife, who was reportedly on the phone with him as his SUV drifted downstream.

Evans' SUV was swept down a wash about 0.25 mile, and he became trapped inside the vehicle.

"I was up on the mountain... and then I seen the car coming down this way, they guy was trying to steer the vehicle," said Brandon Pruitt, 21, one of several men who jumped in to help the driver.

"I was hanging up on this tree branch... trying to see if I could crawl across and couldn't make it,"Pruitt, said, pointing to a branch just feet away from where the vehicle ended up.

"We do know that his vehicle ended nose down into the dirt and there was water in the vehicle," said Chris Hegstrom with Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.

Rescuers transported the man to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Wickenburg fire officials said a total of four swift water rescues were performed on Saturday evening. Three other people suffered minor injuries.

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