INTERVIEW: Man Who Helped Save 3 Kids From Minivan Says Mom Looked "Possessed"
Earlier this week we told you about a disturbing story out of Daytona Beach, Florida. A pregnant mother drove a minivan with her three kids into the ocean. Rescuers rushed into the water in the nick of time, police say.
Tim Tesseneer and his wife were videotaping the beach when they captured the minivan driving into the ocean. When he heard the children screaming “help,” Tesseneer ran out of his vehicle toward the van.
This morning on America’s Newsroom, Bill Hemmer spoke to Tesseneer by phone. At first, he thought the children were excited about breaking the law by driving so close to the ocean.
The moment he realized those screams were a cry for help, he said, “I just threw my vehicle in park and sprang to the van.”
He said the oldest kid, a 10-year-old boy, was fighting to turn the steering wheel away from the water. Tesseneer and another Good Samaritan began talking to the mother, Ebony Wilkerson, to get her to stop driving.
Wilkerson’s eyes were wide and she appeared spaced out, even possessed, Tesseneer recalled.
“All she said was, ‘we’re okay; we’re going to be fine.’ And then she looked back out the windshield, took a hard left turn straight down in the deep water,” he said.
Meanwhile, one of the kids in the backseat was screaming, “Please help us. Our mom’s trying to kill us.”
At that moment, Tesseneer and the other man rushed to get the kids out of the sinking van.
The children are reportedly in state custody. Wilkerson is undergoing a mental evaluation.
Yesterday, a 911 call was released in which a woman who identified herself as Wilkerson’s sister said she had escaped an abusive marriage and was hearing voices.
UPDATE: My Fox Orlando reports that Wilkerson has been charged with three counts of attempted first-degree murder and three counts of aggravated child abuse.