Tonopah driver recounts high-water rescue

Posted at 8:00 PM, Mar 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-01 22:06:57-05

A Tonopah man is home safe after a daring high-water rescue that happened Tuesday night.

Dwight Music, 73,  was washed off Baseline Road near 319th Avenue in his vehicle.  He says the crossing through the Hassayama River near Buckeye was dry earlier in the day.  After dark, he says he had no idea he was about to hit high water at 50 mph.

"It was very deep, very fast," Music said. "Took my car off to the side real fast."

A nearby flood gauge showed the Hassayama had risen from 0 cfs to 800 cfs within just a few minutes on Tuesday.

As rescuers arrived, Music called his family and remembered prior emergency training.

"Stay calm and look for your outs, and look for the things you shouldn't do," Music told himself. 

Once the water rose up to his waist and lapped at the windshield, Music worried he would have to bail out.

"I was getting ready to go out the window," he remembered.  "I just didn't know where I was going to land on the other side."

After about 90 minutes, firefighters were ready to make their rescue attempt. They broke a window and pulled Music out. 

Music wants to tell them, "Thank you boys. I love ya!"

On Wednesday, barricades blocked traffic from crossing through river. Music's SUV remained buried in mud a couple hundred feet from the road.