Stranded Elderly Couple Located by Buckeye Police
On Tuesday, July 2, 2019, at about 4:15 p.m., Buckeye police detectives came upon a vehicle that became stranded after crashing into a dry wash in the desert area north of 207th Avenue and Tiger Mountain Drive. The detectives were in the remote area north of the Victory Golf Course conducting follow-up on an unrelated case. The detectives discovered two elderly people inside the car.
Buckeye firefighters and paramedics responded to the area along with a number of other local fire departments. Four-wheel-drive units and an all-Terrain vehicle were used to bring technical rescuers and equipment to the area. Inside the car, paramedics treated 84-year-old Hilda Becker and her husband of 51 years, 84-year old Russell Becker. Sadly, Russell was pronounced dead at the scene. Hilda needed immediate care and was transported by helicopter to a local hospital. She remains hospitalized.
It is unclear how long the couple had been in the desert. Hilda, appeared confused and disoriented but originally told rescuers they left their home in Buckeye Monday afternoon to go for a drive. It is unclear how the pair ended up in the wash. The couple did not have a cell phone.
Russell showed signs of suffering a head injury when the car hit the wash and it is possible they were exposed to the heat and elements for up to 24 hours. The Maricopa County Medical Examiner will determine the official cause of death.
This is a sad reminder for all of us to keep an eye on each other. Those who have elderly loved ones or neighbors are encouraged to check on them regularly. It is also a good idea to keep water and a charged cell phone available should an emergency arise.
The investigation is continuing.