California boy, 5, swept away in floodwaters as mother is pulled from stranded truck

A five-year-old California boy has vanished after being swept away in floodwaters caused by the ongoing series of storms ravaging the state.

The incident happened Monday when the truck the child’s mother was driving became stranded in the city of Paso Robles in central California, according to Tom Swanson, assistant chief of the Cal Fire/San Luis Obispo County Fire Department.

Bystanders managed to pull the mother free, but the boy was swept out of the truck and carried away, probably into a river, Swanson told The Associated Press.

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Vehicles are seen submerged in floodwaters in Morro Bay, California, on Monday, about 45 minutes from Paso Robles, where the child vanished.

A roughly seven-hour search for the missing boy turned up only his shoe before officials called it off as water levels were too dangerous for divers, officials said.

The boy had not been declared dead, said spokesperson Tony Cipolla of the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office.

The superintendent of the San Miguel Joint Union School District told The Tribune newspaper that the child was a kindergartner at Lillian Larsen Elementary School, and the mother taught in the district.

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In an aerial view, floodwaters cover a farm on Jan. 9 in Santa Rosa, California.
(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

“Our staff is heartbroken over this tragedy,” Superintendent Karen Grandoli said in a statement to the newspaper on Monday night. “I guess we’re still hoping for a miracle, but it doesn’t look good.”

The father of the child told KSBY that the pair were heading to school when the incident happened.

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Uvas Creek floods a section of Miller Avenue in Gilroy, California, as the latest series of atmospheric rivers hit the Bay Area on Jan. 9, 2023.

A family of three was rescued from an SUV in Lytle Creek, California on Sunday, after raging floodwaters engulfed the vehicle.
(San Bernardino County Fire Department)

Fox News Digital has reached out to the school district and sheriff’s office for further comment.

There was no evacuation order in the area at the time.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.