A woman who was swept away by floodwaters was found dead in her vehicle Friday following an hours-long search effort northwest of Tucson.
Heavy rain Thursday into Friday morning west of Tucson flooded many roads. Public-safety agencies were called to rescue numerous motorists stuck in rushing water.
Angelina Carrasco, 52, was reported missing by her husband, who escaped from the flooded car but had to be rescued by emergency personnel. He suffered a fractured pelvis and was taken to University of Arizona Medical Center for treatment.
The husband was driving Carrasco across the flooded Brawley Wash in the area of West Mansville and North Avra roads around 2 a.m. Friday when their vehicle was overtaken by rapidly flowing runoff, said Deputy Tom Peine, a Pima County Sheriff's Department spokesman.
It was not until 4:30 a.m. that the Sheriff's Department was called to the rural area by an unrelated man who said he was stuck in a wash.
The caller was able to get himself out of his vehicle, but told authorities that he heard another man yelling nearby. That man was saying he couldn't move because his legs were broken, Peine said.
Both the Avra Valley and Picture Rocks fire districts sent units that found Carrasco's husband on a sand bank surrounded by water around 6 a.m.
When he was found, the husband reported his wife was missing, prompting a search that involved numerous agencies including the Border Patrol; U.S. customs air units; the Avra Valley, Picture Rocks and Northwest fire districts; and search dogs from the Arizona Department of Corrections.
Friday afternoon, the Sheriff's Department got word from a helicopter crew that a car bumper had been spotted, Peine said.
Members of the Border Patrol's search-and-rescue unit, Borstar, hiked into the wash and determined that the vehicle, which was upside down and still partially submerged, matched the description of the couple's, an Infiniti sedan.
Authorities had to wait for the debris-filled, murky water to recede before positively identifying Carrasco inside at 2:20 p.m., Peine said.
The vehicle was less than 200 yards away from the sand bank where Carrasco's husband was stranded, Peine said.
The name of Carrasco's husband, who is in his 60s, was not released Friday afternoon.
It was not clear whether any barricades were in place at the wash Thursday night, Peine said.
Three other vehicles were also found in the area, but the occupants were all safe.
Sheriff's deputies responded to 14 or 15 swift-water-rescue calls overnight Thursday and into Friday, Peine said.
The area west and northwest of Tucson has received heavy rain over the last two days.
The area around Manville and Sandario roads had received about an inch of rain by Friday morning. Other areas reported more than 2 inches of rain, according to gauges from the Pima County Regional Flood Control District.
More rain possible
Scattered rain is possible throughout the weekend in Tucson, according to the National Weather Service. Today and Sunday will be partly cloudy with scattered showers and possible thunderstorms. The chance of rain is about 40 percent both days. A similar weather pattern will continue through about Wednesday.
Contact reporter Alexis Huicochea at firstname.lastname@example.org or 573-4175.