published Friday, March 7th, 2014

Pregnant mom who drove minivan with children into ocean charged with attempted murder in Florida

  • photo
    In this image made from video and released by Simon Besner, lifeguards rescue children from a minivan that their mother drove into the Atlantic Ocean March 4, 2014, in Daytona Beach, Fla.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — 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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