While the water keeps rushing and the ‘do not enter’ signs remain posted, more and more motorists are attempting to cross the flooded Tonto Creek in Tonto Basin.
While some have made it across, others, like four motorists this last week, have found themselves stuck in the creek and with a hefty fine for their stupidity.
On Wednesday, around 1 p.m., a deputy with the Gila County Sheriff’s Office responded to the Store Crossing in Tonto Basin for a vehicle stuck in the wash, and early Tuesday morning, a deputy responded to the Punkin Center Crossing for a another vehicle stuck in the washed out creek. Both vehicles were removed and the drivers uninjured.
On Sunday, two separate motorists were removed after becoming stuck in Tonto Creek. The first driver drove into the creek around 9:30 a.m. and the second at 6 p.m. While both drivers and their vehicles were pulled out successfully, each was cited for failure to obey a traffic control device.
Gila County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Tim Scott said people choose to ignore the signs because they think they can get through the flooded creek; however, “the water is still running pretty good.”
Scott warned that if they have to pull someone or their vehicle out of the creek, the driver would be slapped with Arizona’s stupid motorist law.
Under the law, any driver who enters a barricaded roadway covered with water is responsible for any expenses incurred by emergency responders to remove them.