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Dec 092019
 

Officials with the Sheriff’s Office said a resident spotted the man’s vehicle in the creek around 12:30 p.m. and called for help.

Officials with the Sheriff’s Office said a resident spotted 69-year-old Robert George Petitte’s vehicle in the creek around 12:30 p.m. and called for help.

Deputies located Petitte’s body approximately 200 yards downstream from his car, just 20 miles north of the Bar-X crossing where rescue crews are currently searching for 6-year-old Willa Rawlings who has been missing for more than a week.

“I want to stress to the public turn around don’t drown, signs are posted for public safety,” said Lt. Virgil Dodd.

The crossing has two permanent signs that say, “do not enter when flooded.”

Petitte is the fourth person to die in the creek in the past eight days.

Source: Sheriff: 69-year-old man dies after car swept away in Tonto Creek

Dec 092019
 

Gila County Sheriff’s officials say searchers used boats and drones Saturday in Tonto Basin in their recovery effort of Willa Rawlings.

Gila County Sheriff’s officials say searchers used boats and drones Saturday in Tonto Basin in their recovery effort of Willa Rawlings.

“We have no idea where she is. There are so many variables,” Lt. Virgil Dodd said. Divers will focus on a levee system in the creek.

They will also look at aerial pictures and videos already taken by drones to see if there is any sign of the girl.

The girl was one of nine family members in a military-style truck that became stuck Nov. 29 while trying to cross Tonto Creek.

The bodies of her 5-year-old brother, Colby, and 5-year-old cousin, Austin, were found Saturday.

Source: Search for 6-year-old girl in Tonto Creek enters 2nd week

Dec 042019
 

For the first time, as of November 31, Total YTD number of Fatal Pediatric Incidents (0 – 5yr old’s)  is single digits (5).

https://childrensafetyzone.com/go/water-related-incident-reports/maricopa-and-pinal-counties-valley-of-the-sun/

Sadly, a few days later, Gila County suffered a horrific drowning.

See article https://www.abc15.com/search-continues-for-6-year-old-arizona-girl-swept-away-in-creek-waters

Dec 042019
 

An Arizona family mourned the deaths of two children swept away by floodwaters last week as dozens of people searched Monday for a 6-year-old girl who was still missing.

Nine people from the family, which founded several businesses and is active in their church, were riding in an oversized military-style truck that tried to cross an overflowing creek Friday.

It was blocked off with barricades and signs during a storm that dropped an estimated 2 inches of rain in the Tonto Basin area, about 50 miles northeast of Phoenix.

Authorities on Tuesday kept searching for 6-year-old Willa Rawlings, whose parents Daniel and Lacey Rawlings, escaped from the truck with four children. Her brother, Colby Rawlings, and cousin, Austin Rawlings, both 5, were found dead Saturday. The children were reportedly located separately about three miles downstream from the crash site.

Officials on scene said crews are searching a span of four to five miles along the creek for Willa.

Family members were able to confirm searchers have found articles of Willa’s clothing, including shoes and pants are searching an area of debris where she may be located.

Source: Search continues for 6-year-old swept away in waters

Sep 022019
 

Deputies with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office are investigating after a man drowned at the Salt River on Monday.

According to MCSO officials, deputies responded to the river near Usery Pass Road around 4 p.m. for a call for service. Once on scene, deputies found the man’s body downstream from Blue Point Bridge and Sheep’s Crossing.

The man was reportedly underwater for about 15 minutes, deputies said. The man’s identity has not yet been released.

Additional information was not immediately available.

Stay with ABC15 and abc15.com for updates on this developing story.

Source: MCSO: Man drowns at Salt River near Blue Point Bridge

Aug 162019
 

A 10-year-old pulled her 2-year-old sister out of the bottom of a pool Friday evening during a family gathering in Gilbert, officials say.

The Gilbert Fire Department responded just before 7 p.m. to a home in the area of Gilbert and Williams Field roads for a report of a drowning. During a family gathering at the home, a 10-year-old girl found her 2-year-old sister at the bottom of the pool and pulled her out, according to Mark Justus, spokesman for the department.

The 2-year-old was unconscious, not breathing and turned blue, he said.

A member of the family administered CPR to the child and she began breathing as emergency responders arrived at the scene, Justus stated. While emergency responders were there, the child became responsive and her pulse returned, he added.

“By the time they were going to the hospital, she was crying and talking to her family,” said Justus. “We expect a full recovery.”

There have been 101 water-related incidents — including 25 deaths — between January 1 and August 15 in Maricopa and Pinal counties, according to the Children’s Safety Zone, a website that has tracked drownings and near-drownings across Arizona for almost 20 years.

Data shows drownings and near-drownings tend to spike in Arizona during the summer, with children up to 5 years of age making up the largest percentage of near-drownings in Maricopa and Pinal counties, The Arizona Republic reported in May. Adults were two to three times more likely to actually drown when compared to young children, according to The Republic.

Adult supervision, creating barriers between the home and pool and signing children up for swim classes are some ways to keep children safe from drownings and near-drownings, officials told the Republic in May.

Source: 10-year-old saves sister from drowning in Gilbert