Couple rescued after truck floats down wash - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Couple rescued after truck floats down wash

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Photo courtesy: Brandy Cline Photo courtesy: Brandy Cline

The wet weather this weekend has washes across the state flowing and the water became dangerous Sunday when a couple tried to cross the Tonto Basin wash, northeast of the valley.

The couple is okay after trying to cross a flowing creek in a truck.

They were carried about 500 yards before getting help.

Their Ford 5-150 pickup truck was no match for the Tonto Basin, south of Payson.

Inside the truck, a man and woman in their 60's and 70's waited for help as cold water filled the cab.

"Basically, some people who were across the creek decided to drive past the road closed signs and drove past an extremely swollen river," said Jeff Chamberlin, a Gila County resident.

The truck was caught on a sand bar as Gila County Search and Rescue crews tried a line rescue tactic to pull the couple to safety.

"These two are really lucky because the water right through here, it's channeled right through here and it's really deep, so ya know, they could of easily caught a rock and flipped over...they're a elderly couple, she was able to get in the back of the truck and he couldn't do it and sat in the water for about three and a half hours," said Chamberlin.

Eventually, rescuers called in a helicopter for help and after several hours they were safely taken out of the water.

Their truck is a complete loss.

"Well, it happens every time the creek comes up. Somebody's gotta try it, we see it all the time," said Chamberlin.

The man and woman were checked out by paramedics and they're both okay after spending hours in cold water.

This is another reminder to avoid flooded creeks and washes, especially after the rain Arizona has seen in the past couple of days.

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