Authorities on Wednesday recovered the van that six family members drowned in while attempting to flee floods caused by Hurricane Harvey.
Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez told NBC News that at least two adult bodies were seen in front of the van, while the view to the children in the back was obscured. A dive team is said to be en route to Greens Bayou to search for additional bodies.
— HCSOTexas (@HCSOTexas) August 30, 2017
As CrimeOnline previously reported, four children, Daisy Saldivar, 6, Xavier Saldivar, 8, Dominic Saldivar, 14, Devy Saldivar, 16, and their great-grandparents, Manuel Saldivar, 84, and wife Belia Saldivar, 81, died Sunday when their van was swept away while crossing a bridge in Greens Bayou.
The driver of the van and the children’s great-uncle, Sammy Saldivar, managed to get out the van by swimming out of a half-open window. While holding onto a tree branch, Sammy tried to help family members escape before the waters submerged the van.
“He could hear the kids screaming and crying, trying to get out of the van,” Sammy’s brother, Ricardo Saldivar, told NBC News on Tuesday.
Deputies reportedly found Sammy an hour later, holding onto the same tree branch. By that point, the van was under four feet of water, according to police.
Water levels on Monday and Tuesday made it impossible for authorities to locate the van. Receding floods on Wednesday allowed them to find the partially-sunken van in muddy water.
Gonzalez said the medical examiner is at the scene and is working to identify the bodies.
Ric Saldivar lost six family members in Hurricane Harvey. "We're just trying to help each other get through this" https://t.co/jsuV2SZihn
— OutFrontCNN (@OutFrontCNN) August 29, 2017
[Featured Image: KHOU]