Casandra Kendrick, a woman who helped the father, also lost her life in the tragedy.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on June 18, 2021. It has since been updated.
In a devasting incident that took place in Texas, one father lost his life while trying to save his children from drowning in a river. According to People, Victor Villanueva was found dead on June 14, 2021, a day after he jumped into the Guadalupe River near the FM 117 bridge to rescue his kids.
The incident unfolded after two of the 30-year-old's sons were swept away by the strong water currents. The concerned father swam into the river to save their lives. Another woman identified as 22-year-old Casandra Kendrick also assisted Villanueva to bring the boys to safety. Unfortunately, soon after the children were rescued, the woman was overcome by the river. Though she tried to reach out to Villanueva, who was also struggling, she passed away.
Texas Dad's Body Found After He Drowned While Rescuing His Young Children in Guadalupe River https://t.co/6m1DPf7dUf— People (@people) June 16, 2021
Guadalupe County Sheriff's Lt. Javier Luna stated, "Relatives told searchers that two children got caught up in the current and the man went after them. The woman decided to help. The man was able to reach one of the children and pass them off to the woman, who handed it off to another person."
He added, "He was then able to get to the second child and again, passed it to the woman who got it to safety. The man began to struggle and the woman went after him, Luna said. Both went under the water and neither resurfaced, prompting the call for help."
At first, the authorities retrieved Kendrick's body, according to Fox 29. Later, the body of the father was found.
Meanwhile, authorities confirmed that the children were safe.
Woman mourns death of husband who saved three sons in Guadalupe River https://t.co/1hTvuZy9rA— KVUE News (@KVUE) June 17, 2021
The families of both of the individuals are heartbroken by the incident. A GoFund Me page has been started to support Villanueva's family, consisting of his wife Norma and their four kids.
It stated, "Victor Villanueva being called home too soon to be with our Lord. He was lost on June 13th, when he rescued his three children from the Guadalupe River. He was a wonderful and loving father, husband, son, brother, uncle, and friend. Unfortunately with an unexpected loss like this comes unexpected financial burdens. With us coming together and helping we are able to relieve Norma of some of this stress."
Further, it stated, "Please help us get Norma and her sweet babies through their loss, all proceeds will help her with anything through this tragic loss." The fundraiser has collected $11,513.
Cover Image Source: GoFund Me Page