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"Mom, it’ll be ok, just be calm." Mom of child missing in floodwaters speaks out

Posted at 10:38 PM, Jan 11, 2023

The desperate search for a missing boy in northern San Luis Obispo County continues into Thursday.

Kyle Doan, 5, was swept away by floodwaters while his mom drove him to school on Monday.

"I realized I was drifting and his last words to me were, 'Mom, it's ok. Just be calm'." Lindsy Doan described the harrowing moment she and her son, Kyle, were trapped inside her car as it filled with water.

Kyle Doan with mom, Lyndsy
Kyle Doan with mom, Lyndsy

"I tried to get the windows down. I couldn't," she said.

They were on their way to Kyle's school, Lilian Larsen Elementary in San Miguel, that rainy Monday morning when Lindsy's car drifted and crashed into trees.

"I thought the best action would be to leave the car so I opened my door... Kyle was then strapped to his seatbelt on his booster," Lindsy said. "I told him to climb over to the door that was open, to my door, so he unstrapped his seatbelt. He had his backpack with him. I told him to, 'Leave your backpack there'."

As they struggled against the raging floodwaters, Kyle reassured his mother.

"He told me, 'Mom, it’ll be ok, just be calm'."

Lindsy kept getting dragged down under the current.

"I was able grab onto him, but the current pushed Kyle out and our hands slipped." Kyle drifted away. "I saw his head kind of floating and he was looking at me cause he was going backwards for a little bit of time."

Bystanders rushed to the rescue, throwing a rope and pulling Lindsy out of the muddy waters.

"When I had asked them what about Kyle? They said they had seen Kyle but he was floating on his back. There was no way they could throw a rope to him because of where he was."

Family, friends and first responders have been searching for Kyle every day.

Kyle Doan 2.jpg
Family friend Katarena Messer shared a photo of Kyle wearing the same jacket she says he had on when he went missing.

"I'd do anything to just have him go mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy to me for hours a day," she said.


The search for the missing 5-year-old now enters its fourth day. More than 100 California National Guard members arriving to assist local and state agencies to help bring Kyle home.

Today the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office is getting help from other law enforcement agencies including dive team members, search and rescue teams, and K9 units from Ventura County and Santa
Barbara County.

The Sacramento County Sheriff's Office also supplied search teams with sonar equipment help.

Editor’s note: The headline and a story quote have been changed to reflect the exact words Lindsy Doan says Kyle said to her.