A terrifying experience for a Tucson driver who chanced driving through a wash late Thursday night, spurring a water rescue. Tuscon Fire Department Captain Barrett Baker says the driver, in his late teens to early ‘20’s, heading home chose a short cut rather than taking a northbound route, which

would’ve taken 15 minutes longer. Baker says, the terrified driver was speaking to 9-1-1 as floodwaters swept his S-U-V downstream.

According to Baker, “He said during the phone conversation, ‘ I think I’m going to die,”, as water began pouring into the vehicle. “If people realize the severity of that, then obviously, they’d never take their lives into jeopardy by driving into a flooded wash”.

Baker says, rescue crews caught up to him, and threw him a rope until they could extend a ladder, helping him walk to safety. Baker says, between the flooding and nighttime, it was a recipe for disaster. And Baker notes, this young man knew better because he lives in the general area.

Tucson Fire has dealt with a number of water rescues this week, and luckily, no one has died. But someone else making the same mistake this driver did may not be so lucky. Baker says, it may be a chicle, but heed the messages of “When In Doubt, Wait It Out”, and “Turn Around, Don’t Drown.”

–Barbara Villa

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