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Swift water rescue: Surviving the flooded wash

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Swift water rescues are all too common during the monsoon in Southern Arizona. One woman says she almost died after her SUV became stuck in a flooded wash.

Kerrie Eggleston says the 911 dispatcher kept her calm until help arrived.

“At one point, I told him I needed to get off the phone and call my husband and kids and tell them goodbye, and he said no we need more information from you. Just stay on the phone with me," she said.

Sandario Road is one with many dips. There are signs throughout the road that caution drivers not to enter when flooded.

"It was really dark. I was just minding my own business, listening to the radio when I hit the water,” Eggleston said.

The swift water rescue happened last Tuesday night around 9 p.m. on Sandario Road near Snyder Hill. Deputies say there was at least two feet of water rushing across the road. Eggleston says her 2004 Dodge Durango stalled in the water.

"I really thought I was going to drown. It was really scary being all alone. The water kept getting higher and higher," she recounted.

Eggleston thought she was going to die the way two of her other family members did.

“I had lost an uncle and a cousin to a drowning in Indiana and I can't swim because my mother didn't want us around water," she said.

It wasn't until 20 minutes later that helped finally arrived.

"By the time they got there, the water was all the way up to the door handle. The water was coming up my floor boards. The operator, he helped me stay calm."

A deputy had to pry open her sun roof to get her out. Officials said there were no road closure signs in the area when she got stuck. Eggleston says if she knew that, she would not have risked her life or those of the deputies who rescued her.

"By the time we got out, the water had actually gone over the hood of the truck. Today, I found out that there was mold growing in the truck, and it can't be saved."

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