Woman rescued after swept into MoVal flood channel

MORENO VALLEY — A homeless woman who was swept nearly a mile downstream after reportedly trying to cross the Perris Valley Channel in Moreno Valley was eventually rescued and pulled to safety by firefighters and deputies, Wednesday afternoon, May 22.

Yesterday’s swift water rescue happened as a storm system moved through the area, dumping heavy rain and hail, while flooding many area roads throughout the Inland Empire.


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Sheriff’s deputies who were first to respond to the 1:30 p.m. swift water rescue reportedly spotted a woman in chest-high waters near the intersection of Alessandro Blvd. and Heacock St. Deputies reported the victim was being swept downstream toward the Perris Reservoir at about 15 mph.

According to a battalion chief at the scene, when fire and rescue personnel arrived they managed to get ahead of the victim and began trying to throw her a safety line. After several tries, the victim was finally able to grab the line in the area of Heacock and Indian streets.

Despite heavy rain falling at the time, Volunteer Reserve Photographer Bill Thost managed to capture an image of Wednesday’s dramatic rescue. The photo, which Cal Fire later shared on social media and can be seen below, showed County law enforcement officers and firefighters pulling the victim to safety from the rushing waters.

After being pulled from the rushing water the woman, who has not been publicly identified, was taken to Riverside University Medical Center for treatment of unspecified injuries. Her current condition was not immediately available.

Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

Trevor Montgomery, 47, moved last year to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, The Valley Chronicle, and Anza Valley Outlook; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 28 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 15 – but soon to be 16 – grandchildren.


  • Do you give by lines for photos in your stories?

    • Hi Bill,

      Yes, RCNS always provides photo attribution for any images used and the photo you took of this rescue includes your name and is searchable within the RCNS page. Since I did not include the photo in the text of this article, I provided a blurb explaining how you took the photo, despite the heavy rain falling at the time.

      Keep up the great work, Sir.


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