HOUSTON - A family of six is believed to have died after drowning in a white van Sunday afternoon while trying to escape the floods of Hurricane Harvey, relatives tell KHOU 11 News. It is thus far the single deadliest incident resulting from the storm.
The victims include four children (all 16 or younger) and their great-grandparents. The driver of the vehicle (the children's great-uncle) managed to escape before the van went under water.
According to witnesses, the van was driving down Green River Road in Greens Bayou when it hit high floods after crossing a bridge.
This caused the the van to be swept up in the current, and the driver then crawled out and told the children inside to try and get out through the back door. They were unable to do so.
The driver was able to hang onto a tree limb and escape, but the van sunk. The six people still inside were an 81-year-old woman and her 84-year-old husband, along with their four great-grandchildren: A 16-year-old girl, a 14-year-old boy, an 8-year-old boy, and a 6-year-old girl.
Witnesses say there were first responders in the area, but there was not enough time to perform a viable rescue operation. Authorities have not officially confirmed the incident, although that is likely because no bodies have been recovered at this time.
Three family members did confirm the story. Many of them are just learning of the news today.
© 2017 KHOU-TV