In a sad ending to one of the most tragic stories to come out of this disaster, San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Officials announced that search teams have recovered the body of the little girl ripped from her parent’s arms as they escaped their sinking vehicle during Hurricane Harvey.
The family had fled the Houston area on Sunday August 27th, and were attempting to cross Winters Bayou on Highway 150 between New Waverly and Coldspring late that evening, when their truck was swept off the roadway and into raging floodwaters.
Firefighters from the Punkin-Evergreen and New Waverly Fire Departments responded to the scene and Punkin-Evergreen’s water rescue team was able to reach the mother and father after they spent 3 hours clinging to trees. The child’s parents told rescuers that the truck started sinking and as they were escaping the vehicle, the current was so violent and strong that the little girl was lost. New Waverly Firefighters were able to rescue two men from a second vehicle that was washed away nearby, but the child could not be found.
In the days that followed, Firefighters from the Punkin-Evergreen Fire Department continued an exhaustive search as the flood waters continued to recede. They were joined by San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Deputies, DPS Troopers, TDC Officers, Game Wardens, USFS Agents, and specialized search teams with K-9s.
The San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Office oversaw the search and investigation and today announced the recovery of one of the final victims of Hurricane Harvey. They have not announced the name of the child or her family.
Punkin-Evergreen Fire Chief Rick Stevens especially wanted to recognize all the efforts of both the searchers and the community members supporting the PEVFD for their role in helping bring closure to this family in such a tragic event.