Woman's body recovered from West Valley canal


by Ryan O'Donnell

Bio | Email | Follow: @3TVODonnell


Posted on July 26, 2014 at 2:28 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 29 at 11:18 AM

Map: 99th Avenue and McDowell Road

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PHOENIX -- Firefighters recovered a woman's body from a West Valley canal Saturday.

The Phoenix, Avondale, Tolleson and Peoria fire departments responded to 99th Avenue and McDowell Road around 9:45 a.m. for report of a water rescue at the canal. When firefighters found the woman, she had drowned and been swept more than four blocks.

"She went under the street, through some areas, a lot of hazards," said Phoenix Fire Capt. Ruben Saavedra. "We always ... tell people it's too dangerous. Never go swimming or jump in the water."

Saavedra said preliminary reports indicated that the woman jumped into the canal, but the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office is investigating.

“The stream looks like it would really pull you in there," Alex Martinez said. "You are really going to have a struggle to get out."

Martinez was at a nearby gas station when she saw fire trucks, ambulances and police cars drive off the road and into a dirt area, heading toward the canal.

"Nobody knew what was going on until everybody started talking about it," she said.