Family found dead after van swept away in Texas flood

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Wednesday, August 30, 2017
Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez has confirmed that all six missing family members have been recovered in the van that was swept away by Texas floodwaters. Here's a look at his statements during a Wednesday news conference.
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Sheriff Gonzalez press conference on van

HOUSTON -- We are learning new details about six family members who were swept away in a van by floodwaters on Greens Bayou.

The family's van was located Wednesday morning after getting swept away on Sunday. Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez confirmed all six missing family members have been recovered in the van.

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.

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.

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"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.

RELATED: 4 children, 2 great-grandparents swept away in Harvey floodwaters

"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.

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