Man, teen rescued from Embudo Arroyo in separate incidents

Updated: 08/13/2014 6:32 PM | Created: 08/13/2014 4:09 PM
By: Kristen Garcia, and Blair Miller,

The Albuquerque Fire Department and Albuquerque Police, along with Good Samaritans, rescued two people from the Embudo Arroyo Wednesday afternoon during separate incidents.

AFD confirmed one man was rescued just before 4 p.m. near Morningside, north of I-40, after being swept away near Wyoming and Robin.

A woman who tells us that man often sleeps beneath a bridge near her house was watching the water when she saw him fall in. She jumped in her car, and followed alongside the arroyo while she was on the phone with 911 dispatchers.

Rob Torres was standing at the rescue location downstream and his description of what happened pretty much sums up how little time AFD had to react.

"When I came over here, there was no water coming down whatsoever, then all of a sudden it started racing down- a few minutes later you just see this man coming down by a tree waving his arms up,” said Torres.

According to AFD, the man traveled three miles before being rescued by AFD Station 13.

He was transported to the hospital in stable condition.

Just after the first rescue, a Juanita Womack, 16, was rescued by three police officers, one firefighter, and two Good Samaritans near Pennsylvania and I-40, according to APD.

“We were standing on the arroyo and we were talking. It started raining so I ran out trying to get him to play with me. The water came and he got out. I handed him my phone because I didn't want to get wet and it came and swept my feet away from under me,” said Womack. “I fell back and was like -- ok this is fine, I'm just going to reach for one of the things and needless to say that didn't work very well.”

Womack says as she was carried away. Two men saw her and tried to help, but couldn't reach her. Womack was able to grab onto a concrete pillar and that's where three APD officers were able to rescue her.

Womack was transported to a local hospital by her mother for precautions.

Rescuers say you should stay clear of arroyos at all times.

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