8-year-old Payson flash flood survivor wants to re-connect with his rescuer

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Asis Raiden Garcia-Baker is thankful to the stranger who helped him survive a deadly flash flood near Payson. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Asis Raiden Garcia-Baker is thankful to the stranger who helped him survive a deadly flash flood near Payson. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Raiden went with his father Saturday to Payson to meet up with more relatives at a popular swimming hole when a flash flood swept through the area. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Raiden went with his father Saturday to Payson to meet up with more relatives at a popular swimming hole when a flash flood swept through the area. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
"There was tons of wood rushing towards us. I got hit by a couple of the logs," said Raiden. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) "There was tons of wood rushing towards us. I got hit by a couple of the logs," said Raiden. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Raiden has a black eye and scraped up knees from the incident. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Raiden has a black eye and scraped up knees from the incident. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
FLAGSTAFF, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Only four people survived a flash flood near Payson Saturday. One was an 8-year-old boy from Flagstaff. He has a stranger to thank for looking after him after the tragedy.

Like many young boys, Asis Raiden Garcia-Baker loves his video games. After what he's been through, his mother, Tasha Baker, is letting him play.

"I’ve never been so happy to hear the sounds of a video game," said Baker.  

[SPECIAL SECTION: Monsoon 2017]

She says the games are a distraction from a black eye and scraped up knees, the wounds from a weekend tragedy that took the lives of nine of his family members.

Raiden went with his father Saturday to Payson to meet up with more relatives at a popular swimming hole.

A flood ripped through the area, sweeping them all away.

[READ MORE: 9 killed, 1 missing after flash flood tears through swimming hole near Payson]

"There was tons of wood rushing towards us. I got hit by a couple of the logs," said Raiden.

Raiden was separated from his family.

“As a mom, I can't think of something that would be scarier for a kid to go through,” said Baker.

[SLIDESHOW: Deadly flash flood at swimming hole near Payson]

Clinging to a log, scared and cold, he was rescued by a stranger.

“White beard, white hair," Raiden said, describing the man he believes is named Kelley.

“He hasn't stopped talking about him since he came back,” said Baker.

Now Raiden wants to connect with him again.

“I just want to tell him, 'Thank you for keeping me company, I'm so glad you were there,'” said Raiden.

[RELATED: Loved one remembers family who died together in flash flood north of Payson]

Raiden, his dad, stepmother and 1-year-old sister were the only survivors. 

Nine of  Raiden’s family members did not make it. They were his grandparents, cousins, and an aunt.

His uncle is still missing.

[UPDATE: 8-year-old flood survivor to meet his rescuer next week]

[RELATED: Search intensifies for man swept away in violent flash flood]

More on deadly flash flood:

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Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

Lauren ReimerLauren Reimer joined the 3TV/CBS 5 family in June 2016. She is originally from Racine, WI but is no stranger to our heat.

Click to learn more about Lauren.

Lauren Reimer

She previously worked for KVOA in Tucson, covering topics that matter to Arizonans including the monsoon, wildfires and border issues. During the child migrant crisis of 2014, Reimer was one of only a handful of journalists given access to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection detention facility in Nogales, where hundreds of unaccompanied children were being held after crossing into the U.S. from Central America. Before that, Reimer worked at WREX in Rockford, IL. Lauren is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee and still visits home often. When not chasing news stories, Reimer loves to explore, enjoying everything from trying new adventurous foods to visiting state and national parks or local places of historical significance.

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