On January 9, 2023, Lindsy Doan was driving her 5-year-old son Kyle to school. It had been raining in the area, but the water flowing over San Marcos Road didn't look different from the day before, so she drove through. What she didn't realize was that the creek was much higher from recent rainstorms, and as she drove across, the water pushed her car off the bridge and into the creek, slamming it up against a tree. Lindsy and Kyle got out of the car, and as she held onto a tree and to Kyle, the floodwaters washed him away from her arms.
A desperate search for Kyle was launched, but it's been nearly 4 months, and Kyle's body still hasn't been recovered.
Initially, search efforts were provided by state and county officials, but now the family is holding private searches using K9 teams. The costs to continue searching is high, and the family says they are limited on funds. Lindsy says she's on disability, and Brian Doan, Kyle's father says he is unable to work full-time and keep up the search for his son at the same time.
The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department says it is planning a "major search" working alongside CalOES. However, the Sheriff's Department could not provide a date saying they are still waiting for water to recede. I asked CalOES when it last had contact with the Sheriff's Department, and a spokesman said, “I will have to get back to you,” but he never did.
At a press conference on May 1, 2023, I asked Governor Gavin Newsom whether he had spoken to Kyle's parents or if his office was doing anything to support the efforts. He said, “I was down there…and when we were asked to no longer participate in the search, we abided by that.” Newsom never fully answered my questions, nor did his office clarify who or what entity requested him to back off the search.
The family also penned a letter to Sheriff Ian Parkinson and San Luis Obispo Sheriff's Office. Read that letter.
Following my questions to Newsom at the press conference and Lindsy’s letter to the Governor, Fox26 in Fresno ran a story on the update.
Kyle's parents say they have no closure and are still seeking help to find Kyle. Lindsy says it's urgent that her son is found before the summer speeds up possible decomposition and makes searches unbearable in the heat. Kyle’s parents have started a petition to get the San Luis Obispo Sheriff's Department and other entities to resume the search.
The Sheriff’s Department still has no date set as to when they will go back out to search for Kyle, and the Governor’s office declined to go on record when I asked who or what entity asked him to back out of the search.
The family says they are devastated and want county and state officials to be held accountable.
A GoFundMe account has been set up for the Doan family to help with much-needed search expenses.