It was a terrifying scene at Daytona Beach in Florida on Tuesday afternoon. A pregnant mother drove her minivan with her three children inside into the ocean.
Steve Harrigan reported that the incident happened yesterday around 5:00 p.m. ET. It is legal to drive on parts of Daytona Beach, but beachgoers were startled when the minivan turned toward the surf.
Video above shows people running toward the minivan to help. One person was able to pull two of the kids, ages 9 and 10, to safety. Before the vehicle submerged, a lifeguard pulled out a three-year-old girl strapped to a car seat. That lifeguard became stuck in the van and had to be rescued by another lifeguard.
The mother escaped through the window.
Witnesses say that one of the older kids was screaming that their mom was trying to kill them.
WESH 2 in Orlando spoke to Tim Tesseneer, of North Carolina, who said he was one of the people who helped rescue the family.
Tesseneer told WESH 2, "The two in the back seat was crying, with their arms out saying 'Our mommy's trying to kill us, please help.”
Police say the woman is being cooperative and is undergoing a psychiatric evaluation. The three kids were held overnight in the hospital, but reportedly suffered no serious physical injuries. Officials say they could be placed in their grandparents’ custody.
UPDATE, March 7: My Fox Orlando reports that Wilkerson has been charged with three counts of attempted first-degree murder and three counts of aggravated child abuse.