A Hesperia woman died early Friday after telling her mother “I love you” by phone as her car sank into the California Aqueduct.
Xanthei Linares, 24, died in the crash shortly after midnight, reports The San Bernardino Sun. Divers recovered her body at 2:30 a.m. and family members at the scene identified her.
Linares’ black 2017 Kia Forte hit a curb, went through a fence and plunged into the aqueduct. She frantically called her mother for help as the car filled with water and sank.
“She was screaming desperately,” said Patricia Linares, her mother, at a press conference.
“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,’ ” said Annette Linares, her sister, according to the newspaper.
A GoFundMe account has been created to help cover funeral expenses.
The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said after witnesses reported seeing a car crash into the aqueduct, deputies spotted the submerged car, state aqueduct operators shut off water flow and a sheriff’s dive team arrived.
The divers found the vehicle 1,400 feet south of the Main Street bridge over the aqueduct.
In March, a mother and two children died when their car went off the same stretch of road and into the aqueduct. A third child survived.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.