On July 4, at approximately 8:35 p.m., the Pima County Sheriff’s Department received a 911 call about a female teenager, who reportedly was on a horse and stuck in the Blanco Wash. Deputies of the Pima County Sheriff’s Department Tucson Mountain District responded to the incident location near Lambert Lane and Derringer Road. They were supported by deputies of the Sheriff’s Search & Rescue Unit and the Avra Valley Fire Department.
Upon arrival on scene, deputies found a 13-year-old female stranded on an island in the middle of the wash. Several attempts were made by Avra Valley firefighters to reach the girl, but ultimately they were unable to gain access to her. Upon request, the Department of Public Safety (DPS) Air Rescue Unit responded to assist as well. The DPS helicopter was able to land on the sandbank and took the teenager on board. She was flown to Avra Valley Airport, where she was medically checked and found uninjured.
Deputies learned that the 13-year-old originally was in the company of a 15-year-old friend, also on horseback, when they attempted to cross the wash. While the 13-year-old and her horse were swept away, the older girl safely remained ashore. Once in the water, the 13-year-old was able to pull herself onto a sandbank, where she became trapped by the rising water. Both children and their horses remained unharmed and were returned to their parents.