Relatives of the late singer Selena Quintanilla drowned last weekend after their family van was tragically swept away in the rising Texas floodwaters as Hurricane Harvey ravaged parts of the state.
Quintanilla’s father, Abraham, broke the news in a Facebook post last Monday, revealing that his relative Manuel Saldivar, along with the man’s wife and four of his great-grandchildren, died during the massive storm.
“Manuel Saldivar and his wife [Belia] and 4 of their grandkids left their flooded house to go somewhere where there was safety,” he wrote. “When they cross a bridge a wave of water swept the van and push them in to the bayou the driver was saved but manuel and his wife and 4 grandkids drowned.”Quintanilla added that Saldivar’s mother, Carolina, was his father’s first cousin.
Along with Saldivar, 84, his family has been identified as 81-year-old Belia; Devy, 16; Dominic, 15; Xavier, 8, and 6-year-old Daisy, NBC News reports. Although Quintanilla described the kids as Saldivar’s grandchildren, relatives told NBC that the four were Saldivar’s great-grandchildren.
“We are devastated,” Virginia, the kids’ grandmother, told NBC.
The children’s mother went out to the bayou in a boat on Monday to search for the van, family members told the station.
“She’s a mom — she just wants to find her kids,” the kids’ aunt, Esmeralda told NBC. “It’s so unfair. They were good kids. They didn’t deserve to die this way.”
The storm touched down on Aug. 25 as a Category 4 hurricane, dumping punishing rain on the Texas Coastal Bend.
In the week since Harvey made landfall, thousands of residents in Texas and Louisiana found refuge in shelters across the states. Floodwaters overtook entire neighborhoods, damaging at least 49,000 homes in Texas, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.
RELATED: Watch JoJo Belt Out Selena’s “Dreaming of You” in the Late Singer’s Hometown
RELATED VIDEO: People Rescued Pets from Hurricane Harvey
In all, some 785,000 people were part of mandatory evacuations in Texas and Lousiana, and more than 200,000 homes are still without power. Officials are now allowing a portion of evacuees to return to their properties, and the process of rebuilding their homes, and their lives, begins.
At least 60 people have died as a result of the storm.