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Woman Who Drove Minivan Into the Ocean Charged with Attempted Murder

March 7th, 2014 | WMFE, Orlando- A woman who drove her minivan into the ocean at Daytona Beach while her children were inside the van, has been charged with attempted murder.

Daytona Beach lifeguards and bystanders helped rescue the three children, aged 3, 9 and 10 from the minivan as waves crashed around it Tuesday afternoon.

The Volusia County Sheriff, Ben Johnson, says the children’s mother, 32 year old Ebony Wilkerson, is being charged with three counts of attempted murder and aggravated child abuse.

Johnson says the doors of the minivan were locked and the windows rolled up.

He says one of the children tried to wrestle the steering wheel away from Wilkerson as she drove into the surf.

She has denied trying to harm her children.

At a press conference earlier in the week, Volusia County Beach Safety Director Mark Swanson said lifeguards helped two bystanders get the children out of the minivan. 

“The waves were strong, the water was cold, they got in the water, got them out quickly," said Swanson.

"If it had been minutes longer, the outcome probably would have been different.”

Sheriff Ben Johnson said the woman spoke to Daytona Beach police before the incident, telling them she was heading for a shelter.

"She did not even want to tell the officers where she was going because she was afraid that her ex would find out where she was going," he said.


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