Family of 6 drowned inside van while trying to escape Harvey floods

A van that was washed away during flood waters was pulled from Greens Bayou Wednesday.

HOUSTON -- Ric Salvidar could not bring himself to go to the scene where Harris County Sheriff’s deputies recovered a van out of Greens Bayou late Wednesday morning with six of his family members inside.

“I couldn’t be there, I didn’t want to see their bodies come out, I’m sorry,” Saldivar said choking back tears.

Inside the van were Saldivar’s parents, Manuel Saldivar, 84, and his wife Belia, 81. Deputies also recovered their four great-grand children: Daisy Saldivar, 6, Xavier Saldivar, 8, Dominic Saldivar, 14, and Devy Saldivar, 16.

Ric Salvidar’s brother Sammy was driving the van Sunday morning trying to get to higher ground. He was traveling east on Green River Drive when he approached the bridge over Greens Bayou and decided to cross.

“He’s feeling a lot of guilt,” Ric Saldivar said.

“He’s feeling ‘I should have done this I should have done that,’ and to be honest, I went over it in my head and I would have done the same thing, dad told you to go and you go,” Saldivar said.

After crossing the bridge, the van was swept up in the current. Sammy Saldivar told authorities and family members he crawled out the driver-side window and clung to a tree branch until help arrived.

“It was a miracle the driver was rescued, they needed a rope and everything, unfortunately they just couldn’t get to the rest,” said Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez.

Ric Salidvar said his parents were set to celebrate their sixtieth anniversary in October. He said the loss is overwhelming for the entire family.

“Every time somebody hugs me about it, it’s just right when you to get hug, it gets emotional again.

The family has set up several gofundme.com accounts:

 

https://www.gofundme.com/funds-for-saldivar-family

 

 

 

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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