31 August, 2017
A van that was reportedly swept away during by Harvey flooding with six family members still trapped inside has been found, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said on Wednesday.
Six people in the same family, including four children, are presumed dead after floodwaters caused by Tropical Storm Harvey inundated their van on Sunday afternoon. That man told authorities he was with several family members inside a white van, but the van was submerged and it was not visible, the sheriff's office said. "They were driving, and he said as soon as he got over the bridge and started making that turn, the current just lifted up the van and started pointing it towards, you know, into the water", Virginia Saldivar, Ric Saldivar's wife, said in a separate interview.
Sammy made it across the bridge only to encounter a dip in the road on the other side, Ric Saldivar said, recalling what his brother told him.
The children's great-uncle was trying to drive all of them to a safer place when the van nose-dived into the water near Greens Bayou, the relatives said.
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The sergeant was assigned to the department's traffic enforcement division. "We will continue. Perez was one of the sweetest people in the department, calling him a gentle public servant.
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"The water picked the van up, and it was just floating after that", Uncle Ric Saldivar told ABC 13. Sammy was able to crawl through the driver's side window and grabbed a branch until he was rescued 45 minutes later. "But [with] the van pointed straight down, they couldn't climb up the van, much less open the door". The children are 16-year-old Devy, 14-year-old Dominic, 8-year-old Xavier and 6-year-old Daisy, according to the page, which says it was set up by Houston dentist Terri Alani.
"They haven't located the bodies, but from what my aunt has said, the vehicle is still in the water".
He added: "I can already imagine Dad holding Mum's hand real tight as the water rushed in".
The Houston Police Department is assisting in recovering the bodies.