Leslie Jean Juarez died helping attempt to save Laura L. Ridgeway from drowning, Twentynine Palms, California, August 26, 2003. Ms. Ridgeway, 38, attempted to drive an automobile across a partially filled flood channel during a thunderstorm, but it stalled shortly after entering the water. Her sister, Ms. Juarez, 36, a passenger, exited the car by climbing through a window, and Ms. Juarez’s daughter likewise left through the same window. After shouting for help, Ms. Juarez attempted to open the driver’s door but was unsuccessful because of the force of the current. She joined others who had gathered at the scene in their attempts to push and pull the car out of the channel when the car became buoyant, overturned, and was swept away. Ms. Juarez and one of the men helping in the rescue were submerged and also carried downstream. The bodies of all three victims were recovered later that day.
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