The dramatic rescue of three children that were driven into the ocean by their pregnant mother on Tuesday has been all over the news. More details are now emerging on exactly what happened the moments before the incident and how it all went down. ABC News spoke with two of the rescuers and posted the video on March 6 as they revealed that they initially tried to stop the mom from going into the rough ocean waves.
The men said that she ignored their pleas to stop her vehicle from going into the ocean. Rescuer Tim Tesseneer said that he can’t get the image out of his head of the little boy with his outstretched arms yelling that his mother was trying to kill them.
Tesseneer, who is from North Carolina, was at the beach with his wife when they witnessed the vehicle heading towards the ocean. His wife was the one that caught the whole thing on video while her husband ran to save them.
Stacy Robinson, the other man who helped to rescue the kids, was with his girlfriend getting ready to leave when he saw the van heading towards the water. He went sprinting towards the submerging van to reach inside the passenger window. He noticed that the woman’s son was trying to steer the wheel back towards the shore. He tried talking to the mother but all she kept saying was, “We are okay.” He also noticed that her eyes were very wide open.
She then sped up, rolled the windows up, and locked the doors. The man found a way to get inside through the back of the van to snatch two of the children out. He is the one seen with the terrified kids in his arms as they hung on for dear life. This is when the lifeguards ran out to get the mother as she was trying to climb out of the vehicle. They grabbed her 3-year-old toddler out of the car seat right before the van submerged even more.
Ebony Wilkerson came to Daytona Beach, Fla. from South Carolina with her family. Her sister called for help before this all took place saying that she was rambling on about Jesus and demons in the house. Authorities did talk to the 32-year-old mother right before she drove to the beach. However, they said that there was nothing that they could have done at that point. Wilkerson told them that she was going to a shelter to get away from her abusive husband.
The three children are now in protective custody and may be sent to the care of relatives eventually. Their mother is under mental evaluation to decide whether she will be charged for this or if it will be considered a medical illness. They will have to decide whether there was the intent to commit a crime.
Tim Tesseneer and Stacy Robinson seem to be quite shook up about the experience but they should be commended, along with the lifeguards, for acting so quickly to save the three children. A few minutes later could have ended differently.