NC man pulls children from van after mom drives into Fla. surf
by NBC News
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -
Officers interviewed a pregnant woman just two hours before she drove her minivan — with three children inside — into the ocean in Florida, but they had no grounds to stop her, authorities said Wednesday.
Ebony Wilkerson, 32, of Cross, S.C., was undergoing a mental health evaluation a day after the incident on Daytona Beach, Volusia County Sheriff Ben Johnson said.
The three children — two girls and a boy ages 10, 9 and 3 — were pulled from the van by bystanders and weren't seriously hurt, officials said. They were in temporary custody of the state Wednesday.
It could have been a very different story, said Mark Swanson, director of Volusia County Beach Safety. The surf was heavy and the water was frigid, and had the children stayed in the water just a few minutes longer, "they would have been victims," he said.
Johnson said Wilkerson's family called authorities a couple of hours earlier Tuesday afternoon because they were concerned that she had "mental issues." Several officers interviewed the mother, who said she was "afraid of her ex," but because she said she was already heading for an abuse shelter, "they couldn't do anything with her," Johnson said.
No charges have been filed pending the mental evaluation, Johnson said, adding, "Our goal is to make sure she gets into the system for the protection of her and the children."
A Canadian tourist shot video of the episode, which occurred about 4:56 p.m. ET Tuesday. It shows the minivan bobbing in heavy surf while rescuers frantically try to pull the children out through the hatchback and the driver-side door.
Monday, September 15 2014 5:39 PM EDT2014-09-15 21:39:25 GMT
Horrific details of a southern Indiana homicide were released Monday, including allegations that Joseph Oberhansley ate portions of Tammy Jo Blanton's brain, heart and lungs after stabbing her to death.More >>
Horrific details of a southern Indiana homicide were released Monday, including allegations that Joseph Oberhansley ate portions of Tammy Jo Blanton's brain, heart and lungs after stabbing her to death. More >>
While you were sleeping, the Internet never stopped… Here's what's trending today. Mobile user? Click here to watch: Girl doesn't recognize clean-shaven father A father shaving his beard brings hisMore >>
While you were sleeping, the Internet never stopped… Here's what's trending today.More >>
Monday, September 15 2014 5:42 PM EDT2014-09-15 21:42:53 GMT
The Madison County Sheriff's Department has made an arrest of a drug dealer who has allegedly been distributing 25i, the synthetic LSD. Madison County Sheriff Randy Tucker says that Kaleb K. ChhabraMore >>
Madison County Sheriff Randy Tucker says that 19-year-old Kaleb K. Chhabra was arrested for Possession with Intent to Distribute LSD (25I).More >>
Thursday, September 11 2014 2:31 AM EDT2014-09-11 06:31:36 GMT
Miss Mississippi, Jasmine Murray competed in swimsuit and evening wear preliminaries Tuesday night. The winners in the first night of preliminary competition were, Miss Ohio, Mackenzie Bart in Talent,More >>
Wednesday night it was Talent night where Miss Mississippi sang, Something's Gotta Hold On Me, which she also sang at the Miss Mississippi Pageant in July.More >>