Officer who pulled woman out of SUV during Apache Junction flash flood describes rescue

The dramatic body camera video shows Officer DuPont pulling Teders out of the window as she begged him to save her 11-week-old puppy, Claire.
Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 5:19 PM MST
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APACHE JUNCTION, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - On Thursday, first responders in Apache Junction were busy when two inches of rain created flash floods, which resulted in more than two dozen water rescues. One woman, Sue Teders, was calling 911 because her SUV was swept away in an overflowing wash.

“I’ve been here just over 11 years and in that time I’ve seen Weekes Wash run pretty good. By the amount of rain that was coming down, I did have an inclination that something dire could be happening,” said Officer Josh DuPont. “The radio was giving updates as far as the vehicle had become loose, it was in the wash moving southbound, I was trying to figure out where I could intercept the vehicle.”

While driving on Superstition Boulevard, he saw the red SUV floating down the wash and slamming into a guardrail. “After the vehicle collided with Superstition, you could just hear the force of the water crushing the vehicle,” recalled Officer DuPont.

He said at this point, he didn’t know if anyone was inside. “As I broke out the rear passenger window, I had pretty good eyes on her. It looked to me like she was in a state of shock, and I was trying to coax her to come to me,” said Officer DuPont.

The dramatic body camera video shows the intense scene as Officer DuPont pulled her out of the window as she begged him to save her 11-week-old puppy, Claire. “After we were able to extract her from the vehicle, I did return to the vehicle and whistled for the dog to try to see if the dog would come to me but by that time the whole cabin of the vehicle was filling up with water,” Officer DuPont said. “I’m just glad that that day we were able to help her out. I’m the type of person that believes things happen for a reason and I think we were put there that day in order to help Sue out.”

While Officer Dupont puts on his uniform daily to serve Apache Junction, back at home, his wife is battling a rare condition called Susac Syndrome. “It’s a microangiopathy, it affects her cochlea, her retina and her brain. It’s just, the things we go through — it’s a lot,” DuPont said.

The news came two and a half years ago when they learned they were pregnant with their second child. “Josh brought her to the emergency room but the doctors didn’t know what was causing the symptoms so she went home and the very next day she lost about 90% of her hearing and some of her vision,” said Stephanie Bourgeois. “Sarah could not receive treatment while she was pregnant so she had to wait until she had their second child until she could get treatment. But during that time when you don’t receive treatment, the symptoms can become permanent.”

Bourgeois is a crime scene technician who went through the academy with DuPont. “I’ve met his family, I know Sarah, I know their children, and so I know that our medical insurance only pays for so much and that medical debt is astronomical,” said Bourgeois.

If you would like to help Officer DuPont’s family with any medical expenses, they’ve created this fundraising page.