By BECKY KISER
ELLIS — The novelty of rain water rushing through Big Creek was too tempting for several Ellis residents who drove up to the creek to see it and then had to be rescued from their vehicle Wednesday night when it slid into the creek.
Ellis Police Chief Taft Yates said Thursday morning one person had exited the Toyota SUV and left the scene before emergency responders arrived about 10:45 p.m. Wednesday.
“They were looking at Big Creek, about 200 yards east of the dam, got too close to the muddy bank and took a ride into the river,” Yates said.
The Ellis Fire Department rescue squad, Ellis Police Department and Ellis County Sheriff’s Office responded, along with some local citizens.
It was still raining as four people were rescued from the SUV with no injuries, although responders were unable to recover the vehicle.
Police officers had to locate the one person who got out the Toyota earlier to make sure he was safe.
“Everybody did a good job, especially the rope rescuers with the fire department,” Yates said. “I told my guys earlier in the day to be on the lookout for this kind of thing.”
Yates offered this reminder for motorists.
“Don’t take for granted what you’re seeing. You don’t know how deep the water is or how fast it’s actually moving. It’s doesn’t take much water to move a vehicle off a road. If you see water running across a road, don’t drive through it.”
Yates estimated Ellis received at least another 4 inches of rain overnight.