Dashcam shows attempted high water rescue in Tarrant County

The Tarrant County Sheriff's Department released dashcam video from the attempted rescue of a woman trapped in her car by high water.

Rescue crews were able to save the deputy, but the 76-year-old woman was never able to make it out of her car before it went under.

She made a desperate call to her family, but other people who saw she was in trouble had already called 911.

Tarrant County Sheriff's Deputy Krystal Salazar informed her supervisor on the radio that there was no time to wait.

Dashcam video from Salazar's patrol car shows her wading into the water. A man goes in behind her.

That man is Dale Rhodes. His mother-in-law, 76-year-old Zenola Jenkins, was trapped in her car on the bridge over Deer Creek.

When the water reached the deputy's shoulders, she was swept away and over the guardrail. She lost her footing and was carried by the rushing water.

Rhodes stopped where he was as his wife and Jenkins' daughter watched from the road.

Another deputy on the other side of the bridge sounded the alarm. No one knew that Salazar had grabbed a tree branch, clutching it for dear life.

Rhodes and his wife were there because Jenkins had called them at their home nearby.

Before she waded into the dark water, Salazar knew she would need backup. Backup did arrive within minutes, and a sheriff's department dispatcher also called the fire department to get a water rescue team on site.

The sheriff's department says Deputy John Rodriguez went in to rescue Rhodes. The currents were too dangerous, but a rescue team still went on the water.

The car was submerged and nowhere in sight, but they did hear someone calling for help -- it was Deputy Salazar.

“Charlie 41 has been located and they are en route to JPS hospital,” a sheriff’s deputy can be heard saying in the dashcam video. "She's in good condition."

The fire department took a photo of Salazar being rescued after two hours in the cold water.

The constant rain made it too dangerous for divers to go in.

Four days later, Jenkins' car surfaced a mile from the bridge. She was still inside.

The Tarrant County Sheriff's Department says Deputy Salazar feels guilty that she was not able to save Jenkins, and she's trying to work through that now.

Salazar did call her supervisor and asked to take the immediate rescue measure, and he advised her to do what she felt she had to do.

He did tell her to take off her duty belt, which can be loaded down with 30 pounds of police gear, and that may have been enough to keep her on top of the water.

Up Next:


  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories You May Be Interested In - includes advertiser stories