On September 6, at 10:45 p.m., deputies with the Pima County Sheriff’s Department San Xavier District responded to a swift water rescue in the 1600 block of South Sandario Road. According to the 911 call, the reportee stated she was stuck in the wash with her Buick sedan. With her in the vehicle was her one-month-old baby.
Patrol deputies as well as deputies with the Sheriff’s Search & Rescue Unit rushed to the scene. Upon arrival, they found the car to be partially submerged in the running waters of the wash. The swift water technicians made their way to the car and reported the water was almost up to their hips. There was water inside the car and deputies found the baby only wearing a diaper and being draped in a blanket. The mother and child were rescued successfully and did not suffer any injuries.
Deputies reported that road closure signs were clearly visible and placed in the middle of the roadway. The mother and driver of the vehicle, later identified as 18-year-old Tiffany N. Sherman, was arrested on one count of Child Abuse (Felony 4). The child was given into the custody of the grandmother who responded to the scene.
The next morning, September 7, at approximately 8:20 a.m., deputies with the same district responded to another swift water rescue, this one at Valencia Road and Camino Verde. This time, a Dodge Journey went past road closure signs and was now stuck in the running wash. The 911 call came from a tow truck driver who had been called by the female driver of the Dodge; however, he advised he could not get to the car due to the road closure.
Deputies, together with rescuers from the Drexel Heights Fire Department made their way to the vehicle. Inside they found the adult female driver, as well as three children aged eleven (11), six (6) and two (2).
The female, later identified as 29-year-old Edna K. Encinas, was arrested on three counts of Child Abuse (Felony 4) and one count of Reckless Driving (Misdemeanor 2). The children were turned over into the custody of family members.