A family of five and their dog were rescued Saturday after their vehicle became caught in a flash flood in Arizona’s Tonto National Forest.
While off-roading in the area, the family’s vehicle became stuck when they tried to cross the creek that had been dry that morning, according to the Associated Press (AP).
“The National Weather Service had issued a forecast for rain and issued a flash flood advisory. The Phoenix area and many other parts of Arizona were drenched by heavy rain,” the report said.
Rescue crew member Christina Girard watched from the opposite side of the creek as the family began their attempt to cross.
“They started to enter the water and I’m like, ‘Oh gosh, theyre [sic] not going to do it are they?’ Sure enough they just kept driving in. Once the headlights disappeared, we sprang into action,” she stated.
Joe Osuch, the owner of an off-road vehicle recovery service who was in the area at the time, hooked a winch cable to his car and threw the end toward the submerged SUV. After several tries, the driver finally caught it and hooked it to the vehicle’s roll cage.
Tense video footage showed the family members clinging to the top of the SUV as the dark waters rushed around them. One person held onto a small dog as rescuers used a motorized pulley to slowly bring the vehicle to safety.
“The picture in my mind I can’t get out is the 6-year-old boy sitting on this vehicle with a puppy in his left hand and his right hand holding onto the roll bar,” Osuch recalled, adding, “You could see he was just scared out of his mind.”
Prior to the incident, the family had been celebrating the life of a recently deceased family member. Thankfully, no one was hurt during the rescue.