Memorial service held for victims swept away in Rainbow Creek - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Memorial service held for victims swept away in Rainbow Creek

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - A community met at Sonrise Christian Fellowship church in Fallbrook Saturday to remember two of their own who died in Rainbow Creek in January.

Family and friends mourned the loss of 5-year-old Phillip Campbell and 73-year-old Roland Phillips.

It was the night of January 22 that sheriff's say Phillip was with Roland, a family friend, when their car was washed away by rushing floodwaters.  

A family member says the two had left their home earlier in the day to check out a car for sale in Riverside County.  

Roland's Toyota Camry was swept away by the rising water from Rainbow Creek along the area of Fifth Street just east of I-15 in Rainbow.

An extensive five-day search was launched by Cal Fire and the San Diego County Sheriff's Department, but severe storm conditions, that caused water levels to rise in the creek, made search efforts extremely difficult and dangerous for crew members.

In the following days, search crews were able to recover both of their bodies. 

The body of Roland Phillips was located in the creek on January 23, but dangerous conditions prevented crews from safely pulling his body from the water until the next day, according to sheriffs. When water levels receded, the search continued on January 25.

Rescue crews told CBS News 8 Phillip's body was found in the creek filled with brush and debris. Crews covered him in a blanket as they brought him up from the creek.  

Phillip's father, Tim Campbell, says he's heartbroken.

"He was just awesome, how he was--I just miss him," he said.

As the caskets of both Roland and Phillip were carried out of the church, the community comforted the family.

"He would want to give you a hug and a kiss and he made you laugh in his own way, just a silly little boy," Anthony Campbell said.

In addition to the San Diego Sheriff's Department, several agencies participated in the search including North County Fire Protection District, San Diego County Fire, CAL FIRE, Rainbow Fire, and Pala Fire Department; Camp Pendleton Fire, Pala Fire, CAL FIRE and Oceanside Lifeguards also sent their Swift Water Rescue Teams.

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