A 24-year-old woman who had survived cancer and a kidney transplant was killed when her car crashed early Friday morning into the same aqueduct in Hesperia that claimed the lives of a mother and her two toddlers in March.
The crash occurred just after midnight on the Main Street bridge that crosses the California Aqueduct.
Family members said Xanthel Linares, 24, had veered into a guard rail before plummeting down into the aqueduct.
Linares managed to call her mother from inside the sinking vehicle.
“She said, ‘Mommy, the car. I went in the water … The aqueduct, mommy,’” mother Patricia Linares said recalled. “She was screaming desperately.”
Patricia Linares said her daughter had trouble describing where exactly she was.
Rescue crews responded to the crash site and sent a dive team into the aqueduct to search for the victim, whose black 2017 Kia Forte was located completely submerged about 2:30 a.m. The vehicle was 1,400 feet south of the bridge, and the victim’s body was found inside, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said in a news release.
The vehicle had been traveling on the right side of the fog line before it hit the curb and went into the canal, sheriff’s spokeswoman Jodi Miller said on scene.
The family called for improvements to the barriers on the road next to the aqueduct.
“These barbed wires do not do anything for a moving vehicle at full speed,” said another sister of the victim. “My sister, she was a good girl – no alcohol user, no drug user. This didn’t deserve to happen to her.”
Xanthel Linares, the youngest of five siblings, had already beaten cancer and survived a kidney transplant, her sister Annette Linares said. Xanthel lived with her mother in Hesperia. She was set to graduate with her bachelor’s degree at the end of the year and expected to become a social worker, her sister said.
“The last words that she was able to say to my mom before she went under completely and was no longer able to speak were ‘I love you,’” Annette Linares said.
The family is calling for safer measures to be put in place on the bridge, where a mother and two boys were killed in a similar crash on March 2.
“City of Hesperia, you’re going to be sued,” Annette Linares said.
A GoFundMe page was created to help pay for funeral expenses.
Correction: An earlier version of this article spelled the first name of the victim’s sister incorrectly. The story has been updated.
KTLA’s Melissa Pamer contributed to this article.