Flash Flood Claims Life of Former Police Sergeant

On August 5, 2016 at approximately 1:42 pm, San Juan County (SJC) Dispatch received a 911 call from  the area of County Road 7007, South of Blanco, near the Largo Canyon wash. The caller never saw anyone get out of the truck and believed it was only  occupied by the driver.   Several SJC Fire and Police units were dispatched but due to heavy rain and severe flooding in the  surrounding area, First Responders were unable to reach the vehicle until approximately 3:39 pm. At  4:09 pm, the driver of the vehicle was located approximately ¼ mile from the vehicle. Patrol Lt.  Jamison recovered

From the San Juan County Sheriff's office:

San Juan County Sheriff’s Office

On August 5, 2016 at approximately 1:42 pm, San Juan County (SJC) Dispatch received a 911 call from the area of County Road 7007, South of Blanco, near the Largo Canyon wash. The caller advised white 4-door, Ford F-150 attempted to cross the wash and appeared to be sinking in the flooded arroyo. The caller also told dispatchers the vehicle was approximately 1/4 mile from his location, suffered heavy damage and rolled over. The caller never saw anyone get out of the truck and believed it was only occupied by the driver.
 
Several SJC Fire and Police units were dispatched but due to heavy rain and severe flooding in the surrounding area, First Responders were unable to reach the vehicle until approximately 3:39 pm. At 4:09 pm, the driver of the vehicle was located approximately 1/4 mile from the vehicle. Patrol Lt. Jamison recovered the victim and immediately identified him as Derek Mohler, of Bloomfield. 


Preliminary investigation indicates Mohler attempted to cross the flooded wash when the raging waters picked up the back end of the truck, rolling it end over end, several times.
Mohler was employed by Crossfire, an Oil and Gas company based out of Durango, Colorado. The Ford F-150 being driven by Mohler when it was submerged is owned by Crossfire. Efforts to recover the vehicle have been unsuccessful. 


Mohler, 33, was a life-long resident of Bloomfield. He began a career in law enforcement as a Police Explorer for the Bloomfield Police at the age of 13. He was employed for 1 year as a Reserve Officer before becoming a full-time Police Officer at the age of 22. Mohler served the City of Bloomfield as a Police Officer for nine years and reached the rank of Sergeant when he left law enforcement to pursue a career in the Oil and Gas industry. He is survived by his wife Julie, his 14 year-old daughter, Jadyn and his 11 year-old son, Ethan. The San Juan County Sheriff's office is deeply saddened by the loss of Derek and extend our deepest sympathies to his family and friends. 


The San Juan County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind everyone that a flash flood is a sudden, violent flood that can quickly turn New Mexico’s arroyos, and dried-up canyon river beds, into a raging and deadly river. Please do not attempt to cross an arroyo when any water is present. 

 

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