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Search continues for 5-year-old swept away from mother’s arms in California flood

Kyle Doan
via San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office

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    The search for a 5-year-old boy in California who went missing due to recent flooding is still ongoing, with more than 100 National Guard members joining search efforts.

    Kyle Doan, a kindergarten student, was reportedly on his way to school in the San Luis Obispo County village of San Miguel when “raging floodwaters” immobilized his family’s car on Monday morning. 

    Lindsy Doan, Kyle’s mother, took him out of his car seat as water started rushing into their car. She tried holding onto him after they escaped the vehicle, but the currents overpowered her, according to reports.

    “I was basically at that point hugging the tree and trying to grab Kyle’s hands, but the current pushed Kyle out and our hands slipped,” Lindsy told KSBY.

    A preliminary search lasted for around five hours before it was discontinued “because the extreme weather conditions were making it unsafe for first responders to continue their efforts,” according to the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office. As of Wednesday, 17 people have died due to the series of storms that has ravaged California in recent weeks.

    The search for Kyle, which continued on Wednesday, included the sheriff’s office’s search and rescue team, USAR (Underwater Search and Rescue) team, drone team, deputies, detectives and air operations.

    Other law enforcement agencies also sent search and rescue team members, dive team members and K-9 units from Ventura County and Santa Barbara County.

    Over 100 National Guard members also joined the search. More troops are set to arrive today.

    Kyle was described as standing 4 feet tall and weighing 52 pounds. He has short, dirty blond hair and hazel eyes and was last seen wearing a black puffer jacket with a red liner, blue jeans and blue-gray Nike tennis shoes.

    Lindsy’s husband, Brian Doan, said she had made the best possible decision at the time.

    “I got to keep stressing that,” Brian told CNN. “She couldn’t stay in the car with him. The flows were going to overpower the car later on… They got out. That was the right thing to do.”

    Meanwhile, Lindsy encouraged other parents to “give their own children an extra squeeze.”

    “We missed that opportunity with Kyle,” she told the Los Angeles Times. “It’s hard seeing kids going back to school today knowing Kyle was supposed to be there too. Hug your kids extra hard and just be thankful that you guys have them because in any minute, they can disappear.”

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