Man rescued from truck stuck in flooded wash


by Fields Moseley

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Posted on September 7, 2012 at 7:51 PM

Updated Friday, Sep 7 at 10:06 PM

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GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Rescuers used a ladder truck and an inflatable raft to save a man who became stuck on top of his truck in a flooded wash on Friday evening.

It happened near Goodyear, Ariz. in the far southwest part of the Valley.

The man was driving a work truck on Riggs Road when, according to officials, he attempted to cross Waterman Wash. The man told rescuers there wasn't a lot of water in the wash, and his truck got stuck in the mud.

As the water began to rise the man was forced to call for help and climb on top of his truck. The powerful water pushed the truck off the road and into the wash. The water was halfway up the doors and covering the headlights when it was at its highest point.

The rescuers put the inflatable raft in the wash upstream from the truck and used ropes on each side of the wash to reach the stranded truck. They tied on to the truck, put the man in the raft and team members pulled them back to the bank.

"This is very, very high risk. This is very dangerous." said Bat. Chief Russ Braden with the Goodyear Fire Dept. "Not only for the victim that we're trying to retrieve but also for the rescuers. That's why we really, really encourage people not to go into these flooded washes. It's not just yourself you're putting at risk."

It took at least 50 rescuers more than two hours to get the man to safety.

There is a water flow flood gauge just north of the area of where that man got stuck. According to data from the Flood Control District of Maricopa County at 3 p.m. there wasn't any water in the wash. By the time the next report came in at 3:55 p.m. the water in the wash was just over five feet deep and flowing at a rate of 810 cubic feet per second. The water was nearly six feet deep at the highest point on Friday evening, and was flowing at 1,000 cfs. It was slowly coming down on Friday evening.