Saldivar Family

Police find van that family of six drowned in while fleeing Hurricane Harvey [UPDATE]

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.

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.

Related: Family of six drown while fleeing Hurricane Harvey floods

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.

Related: Teen leaves heartbreaking plea on social media before Hurricane Harvey engulfs her and her family

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.

[Featured Image: KHOU]