Pima County Rural Metro firefighters responded to a waterway south of Tucson on reports of an upside-down vehicle stuck in a steep wash.
Pima County Rural Metro Fire

A man drowned Tuesday night while inside his car after it became stuck in a wash during a storm in Cochise County, officials said.

The 77-year-old man called 911 about 10:16 p.m., when he got stuck in a wash near  North Cochise Stronghold Road in the community of Cochise, which is southwest of Willcox near the junction of Interstate 10 and U.S. 191, the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office said in a post on its Facebook page.

The man told dispatchers he was in his vehicle and that water was halfway up the outside of his 1996 Ford Thunderbird, officials said.

The man stayed on the phone as the water continued to rise and said the water was inside of his car, up to the dashboard and that he was getting into the back seat, officials said.

The phone was then disconnected and dispatchers were unable to reconnect, officials said.

The Cochise County Sheriff’s Office search and rescue team, along with deputies, responded to the area and searched for the man, officials said.

“All units discovered that Cochise Stronghold Road was flooded at Dragoon Road with units advising that the water was at least four feet deep and running strong,” the Facebook post read.

When units were able to locate the vehicle, they discovered the man inside had drowned, officials said.

The Cochise County Sheriff’s Office said it will continue the investigation and will release additional information when it becomes available.

The incident was the second known death of a motorist dying after becoming trapped in rushing water over the past week in Arizona.

Last Sunday, a motorist died in Pima County after his car became trapped in a flooded wash.


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