Mom of Teen Pulled from Storm-Swollen Creek Describes Frightening Ordeal

Three San Diego County teenagers drove into a raging creek this weekend for fun and forced a massive rescue effort.

Becky Ripley couldn’t get a hold of her 17-year-old son, Ben, this past weekend. When she didn't get a response to her texts, she sent a text to one of her son's friends. That’s when she found out there was something very wrong.

The teen’s truck was in a creek and rescue teams were working tirelessly to save the kids.

“It wasn’t until a little later found out that they were sitting on a truck in the middle of a river. Freaked us out. We couldn’t imagine what was going on,” she said.

Thirty firefighters and swift water rescue team members were working. The cost of the rescue ran thousands of dollars.

It was a heart wrenching situation for Riley. She didn’t have any control and the process took hours.

Ben was with two friends who thought it would be fun to drive through a raging creek in Rancho Santa Fe. They never made it to the other side. The water took hold of the truck they were in and flipped it.

“They were fortunate enough to get pinned up against that tree and have enough time to get out of the window and climb out,” said Encinitas Lifeguards Capt. Larry Giles.

The teens managed to sit on top of the truck. It took two hours for rescuers to chainsaw through trees, get lines out and put all the measures in place for a safe rescue. All this time minutes felt like hours for Ripley.

“It was the most horrific feeling as a parent to know you have no control over the situation and I didn’t get all of the details until they were actually saved. Which was probably a good thing, found out how dangerous the situation was,” she said.

Now days later, Ripley is appreciative of the swift water teams and firefighters who rescued her son and his friends. She also hopes their story serves as a warning to anyone, not just teens.

The warning: don't drive through water, whether it’s in a creek or on a street, because it can be extremely dangerous.

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