Two mothers were arrested on suspicion of child abuse after driving into running water with their children as passengers last week.

According to Deputy Tom Peine of the Pima County Sheriff's Department:

• On Sept. 6 shortly before 11 a.m., deputies were called to make a swift-water rescue in the 1600 block of South Sandario Road.

The 911 caller reported that she was stuck in a wash in a Buick sedan, and her 1-month-old infant was with her in the car.

When deputies arrived, the car was partially submerged, and water was inside the vehicle. Deputies found the baby "only wearing a diaper and being draped in a blanket."

Deputies rescued the mother and infant, and neither suffered any injuries.

Road closure signs were clearly visible and placed in the middle of the roadway.

Tiffany N. Sherman, 18, was arrested on suspicion of child abuse, a felony. The infant was turned over to the grandmother, who arrived at the scene.

• On Sept. 7 at 8:20 a.m., deputies were called to West Valencia Road and South Camino Verde after a Dodge Journey drove past road closure signs and became stuck in running water in the road.

A tow truck driver phoned 911 after being called to the scene by the woman who was driving the vehicle. The tow truck driver told the woman he could not get to her because of the road closure.

Deputies and Drexel Heights Fire District firefighters made their way to the vehicle and found the woman and three children, ages 2, 6 and 11.

Edna K. Encinas, 29, was arrested on suspicion of three felony counts of child abuse, and one misdemeanor charge of reckless driving.

The children were turned over to family members.

Both incidents remain under investigation.

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Contact reporter Carmen Duarte at or 573-4104.

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