Watch: Couple’s van tumbles over ravine in flash flooding

Posted at 8:14 AM, Sep 10, 2014

Moapa, Nv. — A group of workers tried to rescue an elderly couple from a van swept away in Monday’s floodwater along Interstate 15 in Moapa, Nevada and it was all caught on tape.

Heavy rainfall near Moapa, about 30 miles northeast of Las Vegas, caused disastrous flash floods Monday afternoon, washing out sections of I-15, according to KVVU.

Video published by Shane Dukeman on YouTube showed construction barrels being washed down the median of the highway.

As the camera pans around and back to the now-river between the lanes, a minivan is seen floating toward Dukeman.

***WARNING: There is slight profanity as the van goes over the ravine***

A group of four men leap from their truck, and one of them wades into the muddy mess and quickly loses his footing. The other three men run along side the van, until it disappears over the edge of a ravine and under a bridge.

Brandon Gainey said during an interview with KVVU that he was one of the men in that group, described the elderly man and woman in the van as panicked. He said that when the van went over the edge, it stayed upright and eventually got lodged against a pillar of the bridge.

Gainey said that he and three others rushed under the bridge to the van, and tried to help the woman clinging to the passenger-side door escape the flood. He said they weren’t able to reach her and she was washed downstream.

According to Gainey, his group retrieved a rope and tossed it toward the man, who had climbed onto the roof of the van, waiting for help. They urged him to grab the rope, and when he did, they pulled him to safety.

Gainey said the woman in the van was eventually rescued by emergency crews when she floated far downstream. Gainey said the man from his group who jumped into the water was able to use a bush to pull himself from the rushing water a couple of hundred feet away from the scene. He suffered a broken wrist, Gainey said.

Gainey said the couple in the van weren’t seriously injured.