The 18 victims confirmed dead in the California mudslides included a mother asleep with her 3-year-old daughter and the woman’s 10-year-old nephew, who was sleeping nearby.
In another home, a man had just enough time to shout to his partner to grab onto something and try to save himself before the two were swept away by mud that crashed through the walls of their home. One died and the other survived.
The accounts are among the many stories about those who perished and those who managed with inexplicable good fortune to escape the slides in the wealthy enclave of Montecito, where resident ranged from captains of industry to people who manicured their lawns.
Here are their stories.
Marilyn Ramos was asleep in bed with her 3-year-old daughter, Kaelly Benitez, when the deadly mudslide came crashing through their Montecito rental home, carrying both to their deaths.
Also killed was Kaelly’s 10-year-old cousin, Jonathan Benitez, who was asleep nearby.
Marilyn’s husband, Antonio Benitez, was…