Flash flooding swept seven vehicles off an interstate highway, killing four children, three of them strapped inside a minivan that was dragged for more than a mile by the rushing water. Rescuers on Sunday were still searching for the children's mother and a driver from Texas.
Everyone was accounted for in the other five vehicles that were swept off the roadway in eastern Kansas when torrential rain sent a creek spilling over Interstate 35 late Saturday, authorities said.
"It happened really fast, there was nothing that could be done," said the Rev. Steve Gordon, a driver who escaped unharmed. "It was a sick feeling just watching them go under."
The minivan was found 1 1/2 miles from the scene with the children still in it. The fourth child was found Sunday morning about a quarter-mile from the van. The children's father survived, but searchers were still looking for the mother, said Capt.
Mark Conboy of the Kansas Highway Patrol. Police have not released the names of the victims.
The only other person who had not been accounted for Sunday was a man from Fort Worth, Texas. Conboy said the man had called his wife Saturday evening, told her his Jeep had stalled and asked her to come get him. The wife, who arrived Sunday morning, has not heard from him since.
"We believe he got out first and was out trying to help people," Conboy said. "That was just based on what he told his wife."
On Sunday, the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks was using boats, four-wheel-drive vehicles and a helicopter to search the low-lying, rocky area in the Flint Hills, which is bordered by the usually small Jacob's Creek.
The two missing people were presumed dead, "but you can't give up hope," Conboy said.