Deputy James Epp drowned while attempting to save a woman trapped in a car when a river flooded onto a road. Deputy Epp and a civilian trying to help were swept away by the river as they attempted to attach a chain to her car. His body was found a mile down stream; the civilian survived. Other officers saved the woman.
Deputy Epp had served with the agency for nearly 20 years and was awarded the Arizona Medal of Valor postumously in May 1978. He volunteered with MCSO for nearly 20 years prior to his death. He is survived by his wife and child.