This article has been updated.
A 5-year-old girl died and a woman was missing Thursday after the cars they were traveling in were swept away by strong floodwaters in eastern Bexar County, county officials said.
Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar said the vehicles carrying the girl and woman were trying to cross a creek near the intersection of North Graytown Road and FM 1518 in St. Hedwig around 7 a.m. Thursday when the cars were carried away by swiftly moving waters. Salazar said occupants of both cars had been on the way to school.
KSAT-TV reported Thursday evening that the body of the girl, an elementary student in East Central Independent School District, had been recovered from one of the cars, which was fully submerged. The other vehicle was partially submerged, Salazar said.
The student was traveling with her stepfather and two sisters, whom firefighters rescued from the vehicle, said Jessica Ramirez, the girl’s aunt. Ramirez said the occupants of the other vehicle were the missing woman and a boy who she believes was the woman’s nephew.
But Ramirez’s report conflicts with the official statement given by the sheriff and Bexar County Fire Marshal Chris Lopez. Salazar and Lopez stated four young men under the age of 17 were rescued from one of the vehicles and a man in his 30s was rescued from the other. Firefighters from the City of Schertz and from the San Antonio Police Department aided in the search and rescue, Lopez said.
“We believe the little girl is in a fully submerged vehicle,” Salazar said. “The firefighters were actually walking on the roof of that car and even then, the water was still up to their knees and the current was pretty swift. … We believe we may be dealing with a recovery effort at this point.”
Ramirez told the San Antonio Report earlier Thursday that the hardest part was not knowing for sure where her missing niece was.
“We’ve been waiting for about eight hours and there are still no answers,” Ramirez told the San Antonio Report around 4 p.m. Thursday as she waited near the still-swollen creek. “They won’t tell us nothing.”
Multimedia journalist Bria Woods contributed reporting.