DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - A pregnant South Carolina woman who drove a minivan carrying her three young children into the ocean surf off Florida is being charged with attempted murder and aggravated child abuse.
Volusia County Sheriff Ben Johnson said Friday that 32-year-old Ebony Wilkerson is being charged with three counts of attempted first-degree murder and three counts of aggravated child abuse.
Bystanders and officers helped pull Wilkerson and her children from their minivan as it was almost submerged on Tuesday on Daytona Beach. The children are 3, 9 and 10.
The sheriff says Wilkerson has denied trying to harm her children, but her children told investigators otherwise.
Johnson says the windows were rolled up and the doors were locked. He says one of the children tried to wrestle the steering wheel away.
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(NBC News) A lifeguard and several bystanders, including a vacationer from North Carolina, rushed to the rescue when a mother drove a minivan carrying three children into the surf off of Daytona Beach, Florida Tuesday evening.
"She turned left and straight into the surf," said Tim Tesseneer, a vacationer from North Carolina who ran to help. "We heard the kids say 'Please help me...our Mom's trying to kill us'."
Once the three children were pulled from the car the mother simply wandered off.
The Volusia County Sheriff's Department says the woman, identified as 32-year-old Ebony Wilkerson of Cross, South Carolina, isn't talking to investigators, but is undergoing a mental evaluation.
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