A van carrying six members of the identical household has been discovered within the Houston-area river the place it was final seen Sunday, authorities mentioned Wednesday.
The our bodies of Manuel Saldivar, 84, Belia Saldivar, 81 and their 4 great-grandchildren had been discovered contained in the white cargo van, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez mentioned.
“We now have a complete six confirmed lifeless,” Gonzalez mentioned in a information convention Wednesday. “Our worst fears have been realized.”
The sheriff’s division launched a photograph of the van the place it was discovered partially submerged in Greens Bayou. Initially, solely two grownup our bodies had been seen.
“It’s very arduous,” Gonzalez informed reporters earlier than the kids’s our bodies had been discovered. “The blokes are heartbroken. We take it very private. … It’s further arduous, particularly when youngsters could be concerned.”
Sammy Saldivar, the son of Manuel and Belia Saldivar, was driving the van when it plunged into the river. He managed to wriggle out of his seat belt and squeeze by means of the motive force’s facet window, his kin informed CNN. However his mother and father and their great-grandchildren, Devy, 16, Dominic, 14, Xavier, Eight, and Daisy, 6, didn’t escape.
Rescuers on Sunday discovered Sammy hanging onto a tree department however couldn’t instantly find the van.
Sammy had not too long ago moved to Texas from Missouri to dwell along with his getting older mother and father, who each suffered from Alzheimer’s illness, his brother mentioned. He packed up his mother and father and the kids within the van as Tropical Storm Harvey flooded their neighborhood.
As he approached a bridge over Greens Bayou, he tried to show round however his father urged him to maintain going, his brother, Ric Saldivar, mentioned. The best way they had been raised, “Dad tells you to do one thing, you do it,” he added.
Sammy made it throughout the bridge solely to come across a dip within the street on the opposite facet, Ric Saldivar mentioned, recalling what his brother informed him. Sammy misplaced management and the van went nose-first into the bayou.
“He’s nonetheless blaming himself,” Ric Saldivar mentioned. “He was attempting to do the best factor to get them out of the flood … and it simply occurred.”
A GoFundMe web page has been arrange for the household and identifies the aged couple as Manuel and Belia Saldivar. The kids are 16-year-old Devy, 14-year-old Dominic, Eight-year-old Xavier and 6-year-old Daisy, based on the web page, which says it was arrange by Houston dentist Terri Alani.
On the web page, she mentioned she works with a dental assistant who’s a relative of the victims.
“Our total workplace is devastated and wish to assist,” she wrote. “We’re establishing this web page to help the household with funeral preparations and some other bills which will incur throughout this horrific time.”