HOUSTON — The van in which an elderly couple and their four great-grandchildren were riding when the vehicle was swept away Sunday by Tropical Storm Harvey’s floodwaters has been found, Sheriff Ed Gonzalez of Harris County, Texas, said Wednesday.
Two bodies were found in the white, cargo-type van, and dive teams were making their way through murky water in a wooded area to inspect it for more remains, he said. The van was partially submerged, a photo released by the sheriff’s department shows.
Manuel Saldivar, 84, Belia Saldivar, 81; and great-grandchildren Devy, 16, Dominic, 14, Xavier, 8, and Daisy, 6, were inside the van when it sank in Greens Bayou.
Sammy Saldivar, the son of Manuel and Belia Saldivar, was driving the van on Sunday when the van plunged into the bayou, Ric Saldivar, Sammy’s brother, told CNN.
Sammy managed to wriggle out of his seat belt and through the driver’s side window. He made his way to a branch in the rushing water and held on for his life for 45 minutes, Ric Saldivar said.
Rescuers found Sammy hanging onto the tree branch but couldn’t immediately find the van.
Sammy had recently moved to Texas from Missouri to live with his aging parents, who both suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, his brother said.