Beaumont, Texas police have identified the woman who drowned while trying to save her daughter in a flooded parking lot on Tuesday.
Collete sulcer, 41, died as she attempted to wade through flood water along Interstate 10 while carrying her 3-year-old daughter Jordyn.
Witnesses say Sulcer left Interstate 10 and drove her truck through the deep water in a parking lot when her engine died around 3:30 p.m.
At the time, tropical storm Harvey pounded Beaumont, Texas with 38 mph gusts of wind and rain. The witnesses saw Sulcer take her daughter out of the truck and try to carry her through the chest high water to safety. But a canal alongside I-10 overflowed and the current swept Sulcer away.
Police and fire rescue workers in a boat found Sulcer’s body floating face down in the canal about a half a mile from the parking lot. Jordyn was clinging to her body.
The emergency workers reached Sulcer’s body just before she drifted under a train trestle where the water was so high their boat could not go.
Rescue workers lifted the toddler and her mother’s body into the boat. Jordyn was shivering and suffering from hypothermia (low body temperature). She was transported to a children’s hospital where she is listed in stable condition. Sulcer was pronounced dead.
Officer Carol Riley, a spokeswoman for the Beaumont Police Department, said Sulcer “absolutely saved the child’s life.”
Riley said mother and daughter “were in the water for quite some time. The mother did the best she could to keep her child up over the water.”
“The baby also had a backpack that was helping her float on her back and she was holding on to her mom.”
Sulcer’s name was withheld from the public until her husband, who was out of town, could be notified.
30 people have been confirmed dead in the Southeast Texas area where Hurricane Harvey dumped a record 51 inches of rain.