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Friend of flood victims: 'An amazing family'

Mica Broyles
Mica Broyles

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CNN's Soledad O'Brien talks to Mica Broyles, a neighbor of the Rogers family, five of whom were swept away on a flooded highway .(September 2)
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(CNN) -- The body of Melissa Rogers was recovered Tuesday near Emporia, Kansas, three days after floodwaters engulfed her family minivan and killed her and her four children -- ages 1, 3, 5 and 8 -- on the Kansas Turnpike, police said.

Her husband -- Robert Rogers -- survived Saturday's ordeal.

CNN's Soledad O'Brien spoke Tuesday with Mica Broyles -- a neighbor and friend of the Rogers family.

O'BRIEN: Ms. Broyles, first and foremost, our condolences go out to you. I know your families were very close. You were best friends with this family. So we appreciate you talking to us.

This story is so shocking and so heartbreaking. It's hard to even talk about it. Just tell me -- I know you've spoken to Mr. Rogers. What did he tell you, and how's he holding up?

BROYLES: He called us the morning after it happened to explain what exactly had happened to him.

He seems to be holding up extremely well. He's a man of very strong faith, and I guess God is just supporting him at this time, because there is no way he could be getting through, otherwise.

O'BRIEN: Your children played with their small children. Tell me a little bit about this family.

start quoteIt's going to be so hard to look across the street and not see kids playing in the driveway anymore.end quote
-- Mica Broyles

BROYLES: They're just an amazing family. They're amazing parents. They have amazing children. The kids are about the same age as our kids are. Our youngest three are the same ages as their youngest three.

They played together every single day. They're involved in so many different activities throughout the community. They're just going to be missed so much. And it's going to be so hard to look across the street and not see kids playing in the driveway anymore.

O'BRIEN: Melissa's husband Robert has said he tried to rescue his family by kicking out a window. The window he kicked out let all the water rush in and the car basically went over.

Did he tell you the circumstances around what the family was doing?

BROYLES: He explained in the time they were sitting and the water was rising, they were praying and singing hymns to God, just trying to keep the children calm.

And as the water came up, that they decided to make the plan for what they were going to do, and they thought their best chance was for them to try to take Makenah who is the oldest and Melissa and Robert. And so Robert kicked the window out and he doesn't know what happened after that.

A wrecked minivan in the aftermath of Saturday's flood.
A wrecked minivan in the aftermath of Saturday's flood.

But -- in the moments prior to that, I understand that they were, you know, trying to enjoy each other as a family, singing praises to God, praying together, and that's just the type of family they were.

O'BRIEN: Did he know that this potentially could have been -- as this family sitting in a van as the waters were rising around them -- did they think, 'This is it?' When you say spending time together as a family, I mean, their last moments together?

BROYLES: I don't know ... that he knew this was going to be the end, but I think he must have realized the grave situation they were in. I mean, he had to realize how dangerous it was and that he may potentially never see them again. Unfortunately that seems to be what has happened.

O'BRIEN: Terrible, terrible news. Mica, thank you for joining us. Again, our condolences.

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