14 Rescued After Flash Flood Washes Out Road in Riverside County

Stranded drivers and passengers were helped from trapped vehicles on a road in Gilman Springs

Fourteen people stranded in their vehicles after flash flooding washed out a road early Thursday in Riverside County were rescued by a California Highway Patrol officer and specially trained swift-water rescue team members.

They were rescued from five vehicles that were stranded on a road in Gilman Springs, which lies between Hemet and Beaumont, at about 1:15 a.m., according to the Riverside County Fire Department. The vehicles were surrounded by about 4 feet of mud and water after part of a hillside washed away in the downpour

A passenger in a Honda Civic was trapped in the flood and screaming for help when California Highway Patrol Sgt. Adrian Horta arrived. Horta was driving an all-wheel drive CHP sport utility vehicle that allowed him to navigate through mud to pull up next to the trapped passenger.

"I had her crawl out the window and into my patrol vehicle, along with an adult male," Horta said.

Riverside County Fire Department personnel arrived to help others trapped in the flood.

"There was a big thunderstorm, lightning, thunder and everything. I came out and it was a tremendous amount of rain, just an incredible downpour," a woman who was in a nearby studio at the time of the incident said, "It brought all the mud down from the mountains."

No injuries were reported. Gilman Springs Road is closed from North Sanderson Avenue to State Street.

Seven residences on the 20500 block of Gilman Springs Road were also evacuated due to the mud slide following the rescue.

City News Service contributed to this article

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