The last words Xanthel Linares told her mother before her death was “I love you.”
Minutes after midnight Friday, the 24-year-old was driving her car in Hesperia, California, when she went off the road, overturned, and crashed in a local aqueduct, The Los Angeles Times reported.
Xanthel called her mother Patricia Linares before drowning, Patricia told reporters including in an emotional press conference hours after the crash.
“She was screaming desperately,” Patricia recalled, NBC Los Angeles reported.”‘Mommy, Mommy, I jumped in the water. Mommy, the car, I went in the water. The aqueduct, Mommy!’ ”
Overcome with emotion, Patricia stepped away from the microphones where Xanthel’s sister took over, CBS Los Angeles reported. “The last words that she was able to say to my mom before she went under completely and was no longer able to speak was ‘I love you,’ ” Cosette Linares said.
“My sister — she was a good girl,” Cosette told NBC Los Angeles, explaining that Xanthel had been a cancer survivor. “This didn’t deserve to happen to her.”
Patricia, who lives near the lined concrete aqueduct, rushed over to the scene after the crash where she said she saw authorities there waiting for dive teams to arrive, CBS Los Angeles reported. “I [could] see the taillights going in,” Patricia told the station.
Xanthel’s body was recovered by members of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department dive team at about 2:30 a.m., CBS Los Angeles reported. She was pronounced dead at the scene. The cause of the crash is ongoing.
A GoFundMe page has been set up in support for the Linares family.
In March, a car carrying 31-year-old Christine Estrada and her three young children crashed in the aqueduct not far from scene of Xanthel’s crash, NBC Los Angeles reported. Only one of the children survived.
Both the Linares and Estrada families went to Hesperia City Hall on Friday to petition city officials for stronger barriers around the aqueduct — which is only protected from the road by a simple barbed wire, CBS Los Angeles reported. They also asked to look into the speed in which divers respond to emergencies.
“This is ridiculous, it should have never happened,” Carlotta Estrada, the mother of Christine, told NBC Los Angeles. “It’s the exact, same thing. That obviously shows that there is something wrong right here.”
The California Department of Water Resources told the station, “An investigation by CHP is underway. We always want to ensure safety on State property and are looking into this.”