Pima Deputy Saves Woman from Burning Truck

Pima County deputies Adrian Gallo and Joe L. Serrano saved Lyndelle H. Watkins from burning truck in Tucson, Arizona, on May 16, 2015.

On Saturday morning May 16, 2015, at approximately 9:04 a.m., the Pima County Sheriff’s Department received a report of a traffic collision at the intersection of North Bopp Road and West Camino Verde. While the call taker was still on the phone with the 9-1-1 caller, Deputy Adrian Gallo arrived on scene.

Deputy Gallo noticed the female driver of one vehicle was trapped inside her burning pickup truck. Deputy Gallo attempted to manually force open the driver’s side door in order to rescue the driver, but was unsuccessful due to crash related deformation of the vehicle’s structure. Both vehicles involved in the crash were on fire at the time.

Shortly thereafter, Deputy Joe L. Serrano arrived to the scene as well. His patrol vehicle was equipped with a winch. Deputies decided to use the winch to pull open the driver’s side door of the truck and were successful in doing so. The 69-year-old woman was extricated and later transported to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Deputies with the Sheriff’s Traffic Unit responded to the scene and took over the investigation. They determined a pickup truck was traveling westbound on Bopp Road when it came upon a stopped passenger car at the intersection with Camino Verde. The 21-year-old male driver of the truck drove onto the northern dirt shoulder, passing the stopped car on the right. He then veered back onto Bopp Road, but ended up in the eastbound lane hitting the other pickup truck head-on.

Alcohol is considered a factor in this incident and the investigation is ongoing.

Deputy Gallo was transported to a local hospital for treatment of minor injuries and was released a short time later.