Driver speaks with mother by phone as crashed car fatally sinks into aqueduct in Hesperia

HESPERIA, Calif. (KABC) -- In the final moments of Cxanthel Linares' life, she spoke with her mother on the phone.

The 24-year-old woman died early Friday morning after her car veered off a street in Hesperia and crashed into the California Aqueduct, whose frigid waters swept the vehicle away.

Shortly after midnight, Linares was driving west along Main Street when her car jumped a curb, drove across a patch of dirt and through a fence before slamming into the water.

Speaking to her mother on the phone, Linares said "she was going underwater," according to the victim's sister, Annette Linares.

"From there, I'm assuming my mom just called 911," she said.

Patty Linares, Cxanthel's mother, said her daughter was screaming that she was trapped in her car as she was sinking.

"I didn't understand the screaming, the agony she was going through. She told me, 'I'm in the aqueduct in the water next to Walmart. Mommy, please help me - mommy!'" Patty said.

Sheriff's deputies responded within minutes to the crash site, just east of the 15 Freeway, but it was too late. The vehicle was not located until two hours later, about a quarter mile from where it drove off the road.

Cxanthel Linares was found dead inside the car.

"This little girl has gone through so much," Annette Linares said of her sister. "She had cancer when she was younger, she had kidney transplants, she had glaucoma. She's very strong."

This isn't the first time a car has gone into the aqueduct. Just six months ago, a mother and two of her children died when their car veered off the road in the same area and into the murky waters.

Jim Nyburg came to the area and posted a wood sign that said "#4 How many more?" on the fence.

"This has been like this for years. It's happened before. It's going to happen again. All it takes is some K-rails," he said.

Annette Linares agreed and said the rails could have saved her sister's life.

"If they would have had that, I'm pretty sure it would have stopped the car. She would have probably had some injuries, but I would rather have my sister with a broken arm, broken leg, broken rib than not have her at all," she said.

The cause of the fatal incident was under investigation.

The family has set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for funeral expenses. If you would like to donate, you may do so by clicking here.

They also plan to be out at the Hesperia City Council meeting to plead for changes to be made near the aqueduct.
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