About nine people died while another one remains missing after the recent flash flood swept away a family in central Arizona.
According to reports, Sgt. David Hornung from the Gila County Sheriff’s Department stated that a family composed of 14 members who were spending time near the Cold Springs Swimming Hole were affected by a flash flood Saturday afternoon.
The authorities revealed that six children aged two to 13 were included on the list of casualties during the flash flood. Another victim was reportedly in their late 60s. According to ABC15, the victims were identified by one of the victims’ stepsister Maggie Lopez.
According to the report, the list of casualties includes the 60-year-old Celia Garcia and her kids Maria Raya and her 27-year-old husband Miguel Garnica, their children Emily and Mia, 24-year-old Maribel Raya-Leon and her children Jonathan and Erika, and 14-year-old Javier Raya. Lopez is the stepsister of Leon.
While four family members were rescued by the authorities, a 27-year-old male family member named Hector Garnica is still missing as of press time. The rescued family members were rushed to a nearby hospital to be treated from hypothermia.
A hiker named Disa Alexander revealed in an interview that she was hiking near the swimming hole within the Ellison Creek and East Verde River areas when the water suddenly flowed. She claimed that she spotted a man who was carrying a baby while clinging on to a tree.
Alexander also said that she and other hikers nearby were trying to reach the victims, but they were not able to do so. However, the rescuers were able to arrive shortly.
“We were kinda looking at the water; it was really brown,” Alexander stated. “Literally 20 seconds later you just see like hundreds of gallons of water smacking down and debris and trees getting pulled in. It looked like a really big mudslide.”