A man had to be rescued from Tonto Creek Tuesday afternoon after he drove a Land Rover past barricades and into the rushing creek.
James Cain was uninjured in the incident, but will be cited for passing a ‘road closed’ barricade, which was in place due to high water flow in the creek, said Lt. Tim Scott with the Gila County Sheriff’s Office.
Cain attempted to drive the Land Rover, which had a “for sale” sign posted in the back window, through the creek at the “store crossing” around 11 a.m.
Cain quickly found himself in trouble when the SUV became stuck and was pushed downstream 100 to 150 feet by the swift flowing water.
Cain was able to climb out of the vehicle and wait on the roof until rescuers arrived.
“It was determined that it would require the use of a surplus military two-and-a-half-ton truck to reach the subject and retrieve him from the vehicle,” Scott said.
Gila County Public Works employee Lonnie Cline drove the truck out to Cain while GCSO Deputies Rory Vaughn, Bobby Chagolla and Sgt. George Scott, along with U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement Officer Dan Adams, rode in the back of the truck.
Cain was plucked from the SUV and driven to dry ground on the west side of the creek.
The Tonto Basin Fire Department checked Cain out for injuries and released him to authorities.
Cline and Adams then assisted 4 Peaks Towing with removing the vehicle from the creek.
The GCSO reminds everyone not to precede past barricades and ‘road closed’ signs as they are in place to protect the citizens from a dangerous situation, Scott said.