DPS body cam shows helicopter rescue of man stuck in Tonto Creek flooding

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Arizona Department of Safety officials have released the body-worn camera video recorded during the rescue of a driver stranded in Tonto Creek on Jan. 2.

Gila County sheriff’s deputies say a man in a pickup drove around barricades and became stuck in floodwaters. A DPS rescue helicopter was called to assist. The DPS rescue crew is seen in the edited footage telling the driver to climb through the truck’s back window, handing him a flotation device and flying him to safety. He was flown to a nearby post and eventually turned over to Gila County Sheriff’s office deputies, who issued the man a citation.

The footage release comes on the heels of local officials working to complete a $26 million bridge in the area by October 2023. Many Tonto Basin residents have been pressuring local officials to place a bridge in the area to prevent deaths and further rescues for years. State Representative David Cook asked Arizona’s Family recently in an interview, “How many lives will it take until this becomes the monetary value that this needs to be done?”

DPS officials encourage everyone to turn around, don’t drown before heading down roads that are known to flood. Vehicles can be swept away in just one to two feet of water.

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