A California woman was killed Sept. 15 after her vehicle plowed through a guardrail on a bridge and plunged into the aqueduct below.
Xanthel Linares, 24, was driving across a bridge in Hesperia, California, when she lost control of the vehicle and crashed through a guardrail. Xanthel's car then fell into the water of the aqueduct and slowly began sinking, according to the San Bernardino Sun.
Xanthel was able to call her mother as she was struggling to get out of the vehicle, notifying her that the car was quickly filling with water and that she feared for her life.
"She was screaming desperately," said Xanthel's mother, Patricia Linares.
Xanthel had survived cancer as well as a kidney transplant in recent years, battling back from both to live a healthy life, according to KTLA. She was the youngest of five siblings.
"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,’" said sister, Annette Linares.
Emergency crews were on scene shortly after receiving a call about a car that drove off the Main Street bridge into the aqueduct, responding quickly to locate Xanthel's black 2017 Kia Forte. Xanthel was trapped inside the vehicle and rescue workers were unable to reach her in time.
Dive teams recovered Xanthel's body around 2:30 a.m., approximately two hours after she originally crashed into the water.
"She had cancer when she was younger, she had kidney transplants, she has glaucoma,” Annette said, reports KCBS-TV. "She’s very strong."
Police are still investigating the crash that killed Xanthel.
This is not the first time in 2017 that people lost their lives in the aqueduct in Hesperia, California. In March, a mother and her three children crashed through a guardrail and fell into the water, reports KTLA. Rescue teams were quickly mobilized and were able to save one of the three children.
The mother, Christina Estrada, was pronounced dead at the scene. A 3-year-old boy was found unconscious and rushed to a local hospital, where he died a few hours later.
The eldest boy, a 10-year-old, held onto a floatation device and was pulled from the wreckage without major injury. Police initially suspended the search for a third potential victim before resuming the following day, determining that another child, who was 2 years old, had also died in the crash.
Xanthel's family is asking the city to install better guard rails on the bridge.