A father was the only surviving member in a family of four swept up in flash floods early Wednesday morning in Erath County.

Gerardo Ramirez was found clinging to a tree after the car he was driving - a blue Volkswagen Jetta - crossed into high water and was swept away three miles south of Dublin on FM 1702.

His wife, Monica Valdez, and the couple’s two children - a seven-year-old son and three-year-old daughter - all died in the accident. The family is from Energy and it’s not clear why they were traveling through Dublin that morning. The accident was reported at 5:37 a.m.

The accident happened after a night of heavy rain and flash flooding across North Texas.

According to the Erath County Sheriff’s Office, when first responders arrived at the scene, the creek the car was eventually located in had exceeded its banks and the water was moving at a high rate of speed, spilling over into the roadway.

Ramirez was located by first responders relatively quickly and was transported to Texas Health Harris Stephenville Hospital where he was treated and released. 

Valdez was located inside the vehicle and both children were located downstream from the vehicle. 

“This is a grim reminder of the importance of not driving during flash flooding,” Erath County Sheriff Matt Coates said. “If there is water on the road, don’t go through it. An accident like this can happen in a matter of seconds.”