2 Kids Found Dead After Vehicle Swept Away by Floodwaters in Central Arizona

Associated Press
Published: November 30, 2019

Two children have been found dead and one more is missing after the vehicle they were in was swept away by floodwaters in Arizona's Tonto National Forest on Friday.

Gila County sheriff’s Lt. Virgil Dodd said the first body found was of a 5-year-old boy. The second dead child’s age and gender weren’t provided in a statement released by the Sheriff’s Office.

Emergency personnel and law enforcement helicopters rescued two adults and two children on Friday, who also were in the vehicle swept away in Tonto Creek. They were rescued from a small island and the bank of the creek in Tonto National Forest northeast of Phoenix.

The Gila County Sheriff’s Office says the truck was swept away after trying to cross a creek that was closed around 4 p.m. Friday.

Sheriff’s Deputy Phil Smith told azfamily.com that the Sheriff’s Office closed the creek crossing and others in the area several hours before the vehicle tried to cross.

Dodd said authorities don’t know why the truck’s driver ignored barricades and warning signs at the closed crossing.

An intense winter storm brought heavy rain, flooding and tornadoes to central and southern Arizona while northern Arizona was slammed with heavy snow. The Weather Channel has named the system Winter Storm Ezekiel.

Smith said the creek only flows during storm runoff.

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