August 26, 2008

Woman killed in flash flood in San Bernardino County identified

by Richard Brooks

The motorist killed during last night's flash flooding near the Colorado River was a 51-year-old woman from Big River, according to San Bernardino County coroner's officials.

Rosemary Sebring Genc was pronounced dead soon after being pulled from her 1990 gold Honda Accord. A county road worker said he saw her drive into a flooded area at 9:15 p.m. Monday near Rio Vista Road and Tenaya Court. The water pushed the car to the edge of the roadway where it overturned in a wash, trapping the woman underwater, coroner's investigators said.

Flash flooding in the same general region also closed portions of Highway 95 from Vidal Junction south to Interstate 10 in Blythe. At 3 a.m., heavy rain had limited visibility to 20 feet in some places, according to the California Highway Patrol website.

With forecasts of possible thunderstorms and flash flooding through this weekend, officials point to the apparent drowning death as an example of the dangers of driving through floodwaters.

"Turn around. Don't drown," says the written warning issued Tuesday.

"Despite repeated warnings, some people continue to risk their lives by driving through running water," county analyst Roni Edis said in a written statement. "Be aware of flood hazards, no matter where you live."