New Video Shows Deputy Trying to Save Woman From Flood Waters | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

New Video Shows Deputy Trying to Save Woman From Flood Waters

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    The Tarrant County Sheriff's Office released 911 calls and dash-cam video that shows Tarrant County Deputy Krystal Salazar's heroic efforts to save a 76-year-old woman, who was drowning in her car. (Published Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015)

    For the first time, NBC DFW is hearing the voice of a local deputy moments before she was washed away in rising floodwaters.

    The Tarrant County Sheriff's Office released 911 calls and dash-cam video Tuesday that shows Tarrant County Deputy Krystal Salazar's heroic efforts to save a 76-year-old woman, who was drowning in her car.

    When floodwaters washed Zenola Jenkins' car off a far South Fort Worth bridge early Friday morning, water immediately flooded her car.

    Family members say Jenkins called her daughter Diana a total of three times -- by the end, the water was up to her neck, and family members say Jenkins was scared and telling her daughter how much she loved her.

    Raw Video: Tarrant County Deputy Rescue Attempt

    [DFW] Raw Video: Tarrant County Deputy Rescue Attempt
    Raw video shows Tarrant County Sheriff's Deputy Krystal Salazar trying to rescue 76-year-old Zenola Jenkins. (Published Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015)

    Jenkins was just one mile from home when flood waters washed her car off the Oak Grove Road South bridge over Deer Creek. She had finished up working at Ross Dress For Less, where the 76-year-old still worked 40 hour weeks.

    "She was very young at heart," said son-in-law Dale Rhodes. "She loved to work, she still worked 40 hours a week. She loved being around her co-workers, she loved the outdoors. She still took us camping."

    When Jenkins called her daughter about being washed off the bridge, Diana and her husband Dale Rhodes headed to the scene. Rhodes, a retired police officer from Ohio, called 911.

    1st Dispatcher: "The female in the car, have you made contact with her?"
    Dale Rhodes: "Yeah"
    1st Dispatcher: "She's okay?"
    Dale Rhodes: "As far as we can tell"
    2nd Dispatcher: "I believe it's his mother-in-law, is that your mother in law?"
    Dale Rhodes: "Correct"
    Dispatcher: "And sir, you have your mother-in-law on the phone?"
    Rhodes: "Yes. Correct"

    That's about when Deputy Krystal Salazar arrived. Rhodes said they immediately told her the water was up to Jenkins' neck and the cell phone call had been disconnected.

    Salazar was all by herself; it was dark, but she knew this woman's life hung in the balance.

    "The water is over the bridge. I may not be able to get closer. Requesting EMS," said Salazar before wading into the water.

    The dashcam video shows Salazar walking into the water, along with son-in-law Dale Rhodes. In the foreground, Jenkins' daughter Diana nervously paces back and forth.

    Meanwhile, dispatchers are trying to get more rescuers to the scene:

    "I have a deputy out with an elderly female, well, an older woman, that is trapped in a vehicle. The water is very high. I have a deputy there, they want to know if maybe you goes can assist us, it's over the bridge."

    "She’s requesting EMS. I’m not really sure why. I just know that we know there’s a woman trapped in a vehicle and the water is over the bridge."

    "I believe she’s a bit confused out there and they want the Fire Department to help, if you can. 11-thousand block of Oak Grove Road South. There’s a woman trapped in her vehicle and the water is over the bridge."

    Deputy Salazar loses her footing, as the current is just too strong over the bridge. She's in waist-deep water and tries in vain for a few seconds to swim against the current. But the water lifts her over the guardrail and she disappears.

    Dale Rhodes also is carried away, but he's able to cling to the guardrail.

    Later, the video shows other emergency responders using flashlights to try and locate Salazar, as they carefully escort Rhodes back to safety.

    Then, a deputy makes a breathless call over the radio: "Advise the fire-rescue we need to expedite! Expedite! We've got a deputy here that's in the water!"

    Krystal Salazar survived by desperately clinging to a downstream tree, fighting for her life. She was all alone out in the darkness for two hours.

    Then, a swift water rescue team is able to save her.

    Lt. Gene Payne over radio: "Be advised that Charlie 41 located. En route to JPS hospital"

    "She's in good condition. Just headed to the hospital to be checked."

    Dale Rhodes told NBC DFW the entire family appreciates what Deputy Salazar did to try and save Zenola Jenkins.

    They hope to meet with her in the next few days so they can thank her in person for her heroism.

    Jenkins' funeral will be on Saturday.

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