Six family members die in van trapped in flood caused by Harvey

Hiser-Jackson said the rest of her family members in Texas are evacuating their homes and heading to a shelter in the Houston area.

Hiser-Jackson has been in touch with her family in Houston, she said, who told her that one of the elderly couple's sons was on his way to meet them and take them to his house when they were swept away. She said at some point on their way to safety, a strong current lifted the van and pitched it forward into Greens Bayou.

The Harris County sheriff's office confirmed in a tweet that it had rescued Sammy Saldivar and that he had told them the van was swept away before his eyes, but they could not confirm any other details.

The van plunged into the bayou as it crossed a bridge en route to Ricardo's home. He described a lucky break for his brother Sammy, who was able to pull himself out of a van he was driving as it was caught up in risky floodwaters in Houston. The victims were trying to escape the rising flood waters when they got trapped in the van and died there.

"That keeps playing in his head", Ric said. Sammy didn't have much time to think.

Sammy yelled out to them to go to the back of the van and open the door, but they never made it. The driver of the vehicle (the children's great-uncle) managed to escape before the van went under water. "The van had been underwater for 45 minutes, so there was no way, you know, they survived". Also in the van were the great-grandchildren of his parents: Daisy Saldivar, 6, Xavier Saldivar, 8, Dominic Saldivar, 14, and Devy Saldivar, 16. "He called it a twig", Ric said.

"I can already imagine Dad holding Mom's hand real tight as the water rushed in", he said.

Family and friends of the Saldivar family have stepped up to help them offset funeral costs. She was too distraught to speak to anyone, relatives said.

"We are devastated", the siblings' grandmother Virginia Saldivar, told the news outlet.

The children's mother had been trying to get a boat ride so she could go to the bayou herself and look for them.

Relatives including Samuel Saldivar were with police at the scene as they searched for answers about their loved ones' fate.

"Sammy told me he panicked and he got scared".

"These kids lived across the street from us and we would see them everyday".