Family Describes Horror of Harvey Flood That Swept Away Six in Van

05 September, 2017, 18:48 | Author: Pamela Mathis
  • Family of 6 drowned inside van while trying to escape Harvey floods

"No sleep & anxiety, please let this pass sooner", wrote 16-year-old Devy Saldivar on Facebook at about 5:30 a.m. on August 27.

Saldivar's sister-in-law, Virginia said that after his parents' Houston home began to flood, Samuel Saldivar borrowed his brother's van and drove to pick up the relatives.

"He's still blaming himself", Ric Saldivar said. At that point, he indicated that his van had submerged as they crossed this bridge, and family members were in there.

"Sam calls my husband and tells him, 'They're gone, '" grandmother Virginia Saldivar, told the Associated Press.

Ric Saldivar doesn't seem to blame his brother for the deaths of his grandchildren, and his parents.

Samuel Saldivar had been driving his relatives to safety when rising floodwaters suddenly "overcame" their van, according to CBS affiliate KHOU-TV, which first reported the tragedy in northern Harris County, Texas.

Sammy was able to get out of his seat belt and climb through the driver's side window.

Harvey weakened to a tropical depression on Wednesday night, the US National Hurricane Center said, but warned that "catastrophic and life threatening flooding will continue in and around Houston, Beaumont/Port Arthur, eastward into southwest Louisiana for the rest of the week".

Manuel Saldivar, 84, and his wife Belia, 81, were in the auto with their great-grandchildren - Devy Saldivar, 16, Dominic Saldivar, 15, Xavier Saldivar, 8, and Daisy Saldivar, 6 - when the rushing waters pushed the van off the road, family members told NBC News. He said it appeared the van was a work truck and the back section was separated by a steel screen partition.

A friend and coworker of the family set up a GoFundMe page to assist the family with funeral arrangements.

It plunged into about four feet of floodwaters on Sunday and and was dragged down river as the Saldivar family tried to escape, the sheriff said. I've spoken with the family that's standing by, to try to update them and comfort them as best I can. "I'm sure they couldn't reach it", Ric said.

"Our worst fears have been realised", he said.

Danny and his wife weren't home; they had vacated the neighborhood hours earlier, Ric said. The children were good kids, Ms. Salazar and Mr. Gonzales said. The children's mother had left the four at home, she said.



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