Family rescued from vehicle in high water
CORNVILLE – A group of three adults and a child were removed from the top of a vehicle in the middle of Oak Creek after trying to cross in high water Friday, March 17.
The truck was trying to use Mormon Crossing at Willow Point Road at around 5:45 p.m. but had been overwhelmed by water that had been running high since Wednesday. Crews from Verde Valley Fire District fond the vehicle in the middle of the channel out a quarter-mile downstream from the crossing.
The firefighters were set up on the north and south side of the fast-flowing creek. According to Fire Chief Danny Johnson, they set up a rope system upriver and lowered an inflatable rescue boat. Three rescuers entered the boat, and a DPS helicopter provided light and was available for possible hoist as a backup plan.
The four people and two small dogs were removed from the vehicle and safely returned to shore. They were provided with dry clothes.
“We have seen a tremendous amount of water in our rivers this week. Due to the snow melt the water are still very high and dangerous,” Johnson stated in a Saturday news release. “Please use caution around the water and remind everyone not to cross flood water for your safety as well as the safety of the emergency responders.”
He said none of the occupants of the vehicle was injured but a rescuer had a minor hand injury.
Sedona Fire District, Copper Canyon Fire & Medical District, Verde Valley Ambulance Company, Cottonwood Dispatch, Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement were all involved in the rescue operation, with a total of 36 personnel on scene.
“This incident was a true regional success story,” Johnson said.