Three Children Pulled To Safety After Woman Drives Van Into Ocea - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Three Children Pulled To Safety After Woman Drives Van Into Ocean

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NBCNEWS.COM - A pregnant woman in Florida drove her minivan into the ocean with three children inside before rescuers charged into the water and pulled the kids to safety. One rescuer said the kids were screaming that their mother was trying to kill them.

Video shot by a bystander of the episode, on Tuesday afternoon at Daytona Beach, shows the minivan bobbing in heavy surf while the rescuers frantically try to pull the children out through the hatchback and the driver’s side door.

“The two in the back seat was crying, with their arms out, saying, ‘Our mommy’s trying to kill us. Please help,’” one of the rescuers, Tim Tesseneer, told WESH, the NBC affiliate in Orlando.

It was not clear how the minivan wound up in the water. Tesseneer told WESH that the woman made a hard turn toward the ocean.

The video shows a man carrying two children to shore, then a woman, apparently the mother, dazed and walking to dry land. The children then told the rescuers there was a third child inside, Tesseneer said. That child was also pulled to safety.

“The kids are like, ‘No, there’s a baby. There’s a baby,’” Tesseneer told WESH. “She (the mother) wouldn’t say a word. She didn’t tell us nothing about a baby.”

The children, 3, 9 and 10, were examined at a hospital and were OK, authorities told WESH. Investigators told the station that the mother would not speak with them about what happened.

The Volusia County Beach Patrol had no immediate comment.

Authorities did not release names. The family is from South Carolina, said John Harrell, a spokesman for the state Department of Children and Families. He said the department planned to place the children in the care of relatives after performing background checks.

He also said the department was looking into “any other concerns regarding the children’s living situation in that home.”

“Their safety is the top priority,” he said. “They’ve been through a difficult ordeal. We need to help them.”

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