APACHE JUNCTION, Ariz. - An Apache Junction man is sharing his near-death story after he was swept away in flash flood. This happened during Monday's storm and thanks to a local police oficer, this man lives to tell the tale.
After a several-minute search, bodycam footage shows the moments when Apache Junction officer Cameron Kellogg found 83-year-old Daniel Abbotts trapped against a fence, flood water holding him there.
The swift water swept Daniel away when he and his wife, Karen, were in the wash behind their house cleaning debris out for the upcoming storm when a flash flood came through in a matter of seconds.
"There was a big flash of water, it looked like a river coming down and when it reached my wash, it went up and over it, it came like a waterfall," Daniel said. "[Karen] went under and I thought, 'Holy Jesus,' I never saw her again. I thought she drowned."
But soon after, the rushing water carrying huge plank nails trapped Daniel against a fence. Debris was hitting him and at some points, the current was pushing him down below the surface.
"Every time I went to catch my breath, I got a mouthful of that dirty, filthy, nasty water," Daniel said. "And I'm thinking, 'Ugh, someone has septic systems.'"
After another rush of water carried Daniel away, Officer Kellogg finally found him and started coming up with a plan on how to get him to safety.
"As soon as I got there, he got there," Daniel said. "Thank God he saved me from drowning — I kept going under."
"He did all the hard work," said Apache Junction Police Officer Cameron Kellogg. "I just kind of got to where I could get to him."
Both of them traveled through the waters over debris and were finally able to get to dry land. When it was all done, Daniel was reunited with his wife and they both say they're very thankful they can live to tell the tale.
"I realized, 'Holy geez, that was so close,'" Daniel said.
Karen was swept away as well but they were finally reunited. Both of them have scratches and cuts all over, and in the commotion, Daniel's leg broke. But they say they've learned their lesson and they aren't going in this wash again.