2 rescued from off-road vehicle trapped in Avondale floodwaters

Mar 31, 2023, 7:04 AM | Updated: 7:29 am

(Pixabay Photo)...

(Pixabay Photo)

(Pixabay Photo)

PHOENIX – Two people who drove an off-road vehicle around barriers were rescued from a flooded West Valley wash Thursday night, authorities said.

The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office said the two were standing on top of the vehicle while clinging to a road closure sign when help arrived at the Gila River Wash by El Mirage Road and Southern Avenue in Avondale.

Deputies and a crew from the Rural Metro Fire Department arrived around 9:12 p.m. but couldn’t reach the pair immediately because of the swift-moving water.

MCSO dispatched a helicopter, where deputies hoisted the two up and carried them to dry land.

The two were evaluated by emergency medical personnel, who found them uninjured.

El Mirage Road is closed to traffic between Southern Avenue and Indian Springs Road because of runoff from Salt River Project dams that is coursing through the Gila River.

Signs are posted and barricades are in place there, MCSO said.

The man behind the wheel admitted to knowingly driving past the barriers, MCSO said.

He was criminally cited for reckless driving, MCSO said, and the so-called “stupid motorist law,” in which someone who drives a vehicle on a public street or highway that’s barricaded because of flooding is liable for the expenses of any emergency response.

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2 rescued from off-road vehicle trapped in Avondale floodwaters