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Mom Who Drove SUV in Ocean Mentioned Demons

09-08-2014
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Three children in Daytona Beach, Fla., are safe after being rescued from a minivan their pregnant mother drove into the Atlantic Ocean.

On Tuesday, South Carolina resident Ebony Wilkerson, 32, drove her van into the ocean with her three children -- ages 10, 9 and 3 -- trapped inside.

After hearing the kids' screams, lifeguards and bystanders rushed into action, pulling the mom and her offspring to safety.

"By the time I ran over, I get there, I saw the son was snatching at the wheel trying to get her to come back toward the shore," good Samaritan Stacey Robinson recalled.

"Here was one kid in the backseat screaming, 'Help Us! Help Us! My mom's trying to kill us!'" Tim Tessenner, one of the first on the scene, said.

Earlier in the day police had stopped Wilkerson in her car after her sister called 911, worried about her mental health.

"Her sister had called dispatch and told them that she (Wilkerson) had been talking about demons that day before she left the house," Police Chief Mike Chitwood said.

Officers said she appeared lucid and let her go since she did not meet the requirements of the Florida Mental Health Act of 1971, or the Baker Act.

The law allows the involuntary institutionalization and examination of an individual who shows evidence of being a harm to self or others.

Wilkerson will undergo a mental evaluation March 6.

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