The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office took the lead role Wednesday in the investigation of an incident Tuesday in Daytona Beach where a woman drove a van with her children in it into the ocean. No one was seriously hurt in the incident, and the children were turned over to the Florida Department of Children and Families while the mother undergoes a mental health evaluation. The Sheriff’s Office identified the woman Wednesday as 32-year old Ebony Wilkerson of Cross, South Carolina. Volusia County Sheriff’s spokesperson Gary Davidson says the incident happened shortly before 5 Tuesday afternoon in the area of the beach access at Silver Beach Avenue.
Van nearly submerged in water
Davidson says a Beach Safety Officer reported Tuesday afternoon that a Honda Odyssey van with a South Carolina tag was “…driving recklessly on the beach.” The Sheriff’s Office says the van was reported southbound along the shore, “…before turning east and driving into approximately 3-4 feet of water.” Davidson says the van “…was floating and was almost completely submerged in the water…” as other Beach Safety Officers arrived on the scene. Several bystanders had also tried to get the driver to stop, before the van did so almost a mile south of Silver Beach.
The two girls and a boy in the van were removed by Beach Safety Officers assisted by bystanders. They included a toddler strapped in a booster seat. Paramedics with EVAC ambulance and the Daytona Beach Fire Department checked the four, who were also transported to Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach. The van was towed in from the ocean by the Beach Patrol. The Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday that there were no additional details available and they were working the investigation with Volusia County Beach Safety.
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