A family of 6 have been counted among the number of casualties after their vehicle was submerged by the waters of Hurricane Harvey with all of them trapped inside.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
The victims were four children ranging in age from 6 to 16, along with their 2 great grandparents. The only person who managed to escape the sinking vehicle was the children’s great uncle, Samuel “Sammy” Saldivar, who latched on to a tree after making his escape. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Manuel Saldivar, 84, his wife Belia, 81 and their great grandchildren: Daisy Saldivar, 6, Xavier Saldivar, 8, Dominic Saldivar, 14, Devy Saldivar, 16 were traveling out of town when they ran into the flood waters. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
The vehicle was coming across a bridge when it began to sink rather quickly.
According to the Washington Post, Sammy clung to a tree branch in the water and tried to open the doors. But the doors wouldn’t open. The children were in the back, behind a storage cage, and there was no way to get to them.
‘‘He was yelling at the kids to climb out of the back of the van. I’m sure they couldn’t reach it,’’ Ric said. ‘‘He could hear the kids screaming, but couldn’t push the doors open. That’s what he keeps hearing in his head. And the van just went underwater, and was gone.’’
Sammy clung to that tree branch for the better part of an hour, yelling and screaming — until someone finally came along and threw him a rope.