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Second drowning tragedy for family-Drowning in river, go-cart collision keep Highlands EMS busy

By BOBBY HORN JR.
HIGHLANDS—Recent tragedies in Highlands underscore the importance of making wise decisions.
On May 9 a 17-year old Houston boy, who had reportedly skipped school to go to the San Jacinto River with friends, drown.
According to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office Fabian Salgado, a senior at Milby High School in Houston, was swimming in the river near the Banana Bend Beach around 12 p.m. when the undercurrent pulled him below the surface.
Witnesses say that Salgado and another boy were swimming when they began to call for help. Friends were able to get to the other boy but were unable to locate Salgado. Dive teams located the body three hours later, about 80’ from the shore.

Investigators believe that Salgado became tired, underestimating how far the bank was to him and was unable to fight the strong currents. Alcohol is not believed to have been a factor.
Divers say that extreme caution must be taken with the river, noting dangers not only from the currents but also debris, both natural and made-made, that can trap a swimmer.
There were seven drownings in this area of the river last year.
A double tragedy
For the Salgado family, the tragedy was doubly worse. Eleven years ago Fabian’s older brother Felipe, then 14-years old, drown in the river a few miles north of Banana Bend.
On May 25, 2000 at 6:53 p.m. deputies were called to the abandoned sandpits in the river, near the Highway 90 bridge.
Witnesses told authorities that Felipe was swimming with a group of friends, when they decided to leave the river. He stayed behind. Shortly thereafter a shout of “a man is drowning” was heard. Before his friends could get to him Felipe slipped under the water and did not come up. Marine units recovered the body about a half-hour later.
Go-cart crash injures 2
On April 30 two girls were seriously injured in a go-cart accident in Highlands.
Fire Chief Harvey Little said the girls, who are in the eighth grade at Barbers Hill Middle School, were driving the go-cart in a residential section of the town. The girls were on Poinsettia when they drove through a stop sign and were struck by a car driving on Thorn.
The girls were taken by ambulance to Memorial-Hermann Hospital. One of the girls suffered a head injury and the other a broken pelvis. Both are reported to be recovering in the intensive care unit. Harvey said they initially put a call into LifeFlight. “They told us the ETA (estimated time of arrival) was 18 minutes. We could not sit around for 18 minutes waiting for them to show up so we went by ground transport,” he said.
Harvey said that he was seen too many children on go-carts and scooters go through intersections without stopping and that they should be reminded that the streets can be a dangerous place to play.