3 rescued after SUV gets stuck in flooded road in Cajon Pass: 'They were screaming for their lives'

Rob McMillan Image
Tuesday, February 6, 2024
3 rescued from rushing water after SUV gets stuck in Cajon Pass
Dramatic video shows a rescue team save three people who were trapped after their SUV got stuck in raging floodwaters in the Cajon Pass.

CAJON PASS, Calif. (KABC) -- Roads in the Inland Empire have been inundated as a major storm continues to pound Southern California.

In the Cajon Pass early Monday, the driver of a SUV that was pulling a trailer drove through waist-deep, swift-moving water. Fortunately, all three people in the vehicle were rescued.

Video showed the vehicle was pinned to a tree as a rescue team responded.

"They were screaming for their lives," San Bernardino County firefighter Chris Prater said about the rescue. "It was by far the scariest moment they said they had ever been in."

"Last night's scene had every common denominator for a fatal incident," Prater added. "These three individuals who were rescued were extremely lucky to make it out of that situation alive."

On many freeways, cars have been hydroplaning and spinning out of control. Derek Hernandez says his car can still be driven, but it's leaking oil. The car was hydroplaning and lost control.

"I felt the car start to swerve around, and that's when the guy hit me and I completely swerved around," he said.

In Colton, runoff caused part of a side street in one neighborhood to collapse. The owner of a home nearby has been told to be prepared to evacuate.

Officials aren't exactly sure what caused it, but it appears to be rain-related.