A van full of family members that got stuck in a vehicle while attempting to flee Harvey are now presumed dead after the vehicle was located submerged Wednesday.

Samuel Saldivar was driving with six family members when his vehicle became disabled in raging floodwaters. He was able to climb out of the driver-side window but the van’s sliding door was partially submerged and would not open. He yelled at the children to try to escape out the back, but they were unable.


Virginia Saldivar said her brother-in-law could only watch as the van disappeared under water.

“Sam calls my husband and tells him, ‘they’re gone,'” Saldivar told AP. “That’s when my husband dropped the phone and started screaming.” source

Saldivar believes her husband’s parents, 84-year-old Manuel Saldivar and Belia Saldivar, 81, drowned along with their grandchildren Daisy, Xavier, Dominic and Devy.

Saldivar said she lives in the same neighborhood as her relatives, but she and her husband left during a calm spell Saturday to watch the Mayweather-McGregor boxing match.

The children’s mother had left the four at home, she said. The widespread flooding prevented them from getting home until Sunday afternoon.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends at this difficult time.

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