A home video shot by a bystander at Daytona Beach, Fla. yesterday shows a minivan driving into the ocean. Driving the minivan was a pregnant, 31-year-old mother allegedly trying to kill herself and her three children – ages three, nine, and 10-years-old.
NBC News reported on March 5 that citizens in the area managed to save the children, and the mom, by dragging them out of the minivan as it bounced and bobbed, filled with water, and almost overturned in the rough ocean surf.
Authorities report that the mother is undergoing a mental health evaluation today.
A spokesperson for the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office reported that the three children, “one of them a toddler in a booster seat — were taken to the hospital and were not seriously hurt.”
One of the rescuers on the scene, Tim Tesseneer, told the media “that the kids were screaming that their mother was trying to kill them.”
“The two in the back seat was crying, with their arms out, saying, ‘Our mommy’s trying to kill us. Please help,’” Tesseneer said.
On the video, we can see the rescuers “frantically try to pull the children out through the hatchback and the driver’s side door.”
After the heroes on Daytona Beach carried two of the kids safely to shore, and after the dazed mom had walked to dry land, the kids told the rescuers about the toddler still strapped in the minivan’s booster seat.
“The kids are like, ‘No, there’s a baby. There’s a baby,’” Tesseneer said.
“She (the mother) wouldn’t say a word. She didn’t tell us nothing about a baby.”
The toddler was also rescued from the minivan as it continued to bounce around in the choppy waters of the Atlantic.
As of this writing, the names of the rescued family members have not been released.
A spokesperson for the state Department of Children and Families said that the family is from S.C.
Plans are that the children will be placed will relatives after the department conducts background checks. The Department of Children and Families will also be looking into concerns and history regarding the children’s home life.
“Their safety is the top priority,” he said. “They've been through a difficult ordeal. We need to help them.”
The man who captured the daring rescue on video was identified as Canadian tourist Simon Besner.
For more on the mom who drove her minivan along with her three kids into the ocean, see the video accompanying this article.
To receive e-mail alerts to Richard's Domestic Crimes articles, Subscribe Here to Get Instant Updates.
E-mail alerts are free, private and secure, and you won't get any ink on your fingers.