Family's van found with bodies inside after being swept away in Houston flood

EMBED </>More Videos

Six family members swept away in fast-moving flood on Greens Bayou

The van of a family believed to have been swept away Sunday in the devastating flooding in Houston was located Wednesday morning. Six bodies were found inside.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said the van was in about 10 feet of muddy water in Green's Bayou in northeast Houston. He said the bodies of two adults could be seen in the front seat.

Four children's bodies were initially obscured because of the water conditions and the angle of the vehicle, but were eventually recovered.


Devy Saldivar, 16; Dominic Saldivar, 14; Xavier Saldivar, 8; and Daisy Saldivar, 6, disappeared along with their great-grandparents while traveling with their dad inside a white van.

EMBED More News Videos

Six family members are presumed dead after a heartbreaking van ride in north Harris County.



Ric Saldivar is the uncle of the four children whose bodies were found inside the van.

His brother, Manuel "Sammy" Saldivar, was behind the wheel when he lost control of the vehicle.



He said others had encouraged his brother to get the family out after the water began to rise around his home.

Manny borrowed a van from a family member and loaded his kids and their great-grandparents, Belia and Manuel Saldivar, inside.

The family had just made their way over a bridge when the vehicle was caught in the swollen bayou.

"The water picked the van up, and it was just floating after that," Ric said. "It went head first in, and water came in real fast."

Sammy didn't have much time to think. Ric said Sammy managed to unbuckle his seat belt before pulling himself out a half-open window.

The fast-moving water was strong, but somehow Sammy was able to grab onto something.

"He called it a twig," Ric said. "A two-inch little branch."

He then yelled for the kids to get out, but it was too late. The van was bobbing up and down in the floodwaters as the children screamed.

Moments later, the van was gone, submerged underneath the fast current.

"That keeps playing in his head," Ric said.

Ric held back tears as he confessed he is not strong enough to plan a funeral.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Related Topics:
familyhouston floodfloodingdrowningTexas
(Copyright ©2017 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

Load Comments