DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (WTVR/CBS News) — A woman accused of driving a minivan into the Atlantic Ocean off Florida’s Daytona Beach with her three children inside has been arrested.
Volusia County Sheriff Ben Johnson said Friday afternoon that the South Carolina mother has been charged with three counts of attempted first-degree murder and three counts of aggravated child abuse.
Video shows the dramatic rescue of a pregnant mother and her three children after the minivan veered into the Atlantic Ocean Tuesday afternoon.
Witnesses ran into the surf in Daytona Beach, Florida desperately trying to stop the minivan from driving farther into the waves.
“My friend pointed out that there was a car getting really close to the beach and actually started driving on the water,” said Taylor Quintin, who witnessed the ordeal. “I saw a kid in the back waving his arms around screaming help us help us and the car kept going deeper.”
Bystanders rescued the pregnant mother, along with her three young children, ages 3, 9 and 10.
A tourist shot video from the beach that shows two of the children being carried out of the water, away from the vehicle. Shortly after rescuers plucked the remaining child from the open trunk moments before a huge wave crashes over the top of the vehicle.
“When the bystanders went to help she clearly went deeper into the ocean she drove right towards it, so it’s hard to believe it was an accident,” one woman who saw what happened told WKMG.
The children were taken to a local hospital for treatment of minor injuries.