4 children, 2 great-grandparents swept away while trying to escape Harvey floods

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

A family hoping to escape from rising water in north Harris County is now forever marred by the catastrophic flooding that hit town during Hurricane Harvey.

We are learning new details about six family members who are believed dead after being swept away in a van by floodwaters on Greens Bayou.

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.

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Ric Saldivar is the uncle of the four children who are now presumed dead.

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

He says the family encouraged him 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.

MORE: Death toll climbs to 7 in Texas as Harvey flooding continues

"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 bodies of the children and their great-grandparents have not been recovered.
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familyhouston floodfloodingdrowninghurricane harveyTexas
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