“It’s the worst thing imaginable if you’re a parent,” Kyle Doan's father Brian said.
5-year-old old Kyle Doan was pulled from his mother's arms and swept away by severe California flood waters. It all began when his mom Lindsy Doan was taking her youngest of three kids to school. Their vehicle got stuck around 7:45 a.m. on Monday, January 9, crashing into a tree and began filling with water. She unbuckled his car seat so they could escape and then clung to the tree with one hand. She then desperately tried to cling onto her child's tiny hand but sadly Kyle began to go downstream.
Lindsy, a teacher at Kyle's elementary school, was able to be pulled out by witnesses. “The water was really rough, so the water was splashing into my face and the current was dragging me down,” she told NBC Los Angeles. “Kyle was drifting down the river, and I could see his head bobbing on the top of the river." The boy doesn't know how to swim and has been reported missing since. "The three people, good Samaritans, were on the side and they heard my screaming and saw Kyle floating by but it was in the middle of the river and they couldn’t... it was too far. He was floating on his back and he was looking up," Lindsy said.
The family is finding it hard to come to terms with such an unimaginable tragedy. Brian Doan, Kyle's father, said, "I immediately am trying to maintain composure off what she is saying. ‘I lost Kyle. I can’t find Kyle’. I’m thinking ‘What’s going on?'" He added, "It’s so surreal to know that he’s not there right now." Despite the odds, the family is praying for a miracle. To NBC News, his father described him as a high-energy boy often the center of attention. “He was a very outgoing and loving kid. He didn’t have a problem making friends.”
Lindsy recalled the heartwrenching moment her 5-year-old son was pulled from her arms, in an interview with Inside Edition. And what his final sweet words were. As the terrified mom struggled to get him out of their vehicle, Lindsy said, "When we crashed his last words to me were 'Mommy it's gonna be okay. Just be calm and it's gonna be okay.' " Lindsy said she's received compassion from others, telling her it wasn't her fault. "You can't blame yourself. You need to stop thinking about what-ifs and stuff. But it's really hard, and it's going to take a really long time," she said.
“It’s the worst thing imaginable if you’re a parent,” said Brian recounting the separation to The Washington Post. “You’re dealing with a tragedy where there’s no bad guy. You’re dealing with Mother Nature.” Katarena Messer, a friend of the family, set up a GoFundMe fundraiser and organized volunteer search crews. The rains and wind have overturned trees and power lines and flooded rivers, killing at least 18 people which included three in Sacramento county who were found dead in or near their cars, per The Guardian.
Cover Image Source: Facebook | San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office