Authorities say ebony Wilkerson intentionally tried to kill the children when she locked the doors and rolled up the windows.
The children, ages three, nine and ten, screamed for help but Wilkerson allegedly tried to stop a beach officer and witnesses from trying to rescue them.
As a result, she’s been charged with three counts of attempted first degree murder and aggravated child abuse.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (CNN) – A pregnant woman is being evaluated by professionals after she attempted to drive her van full of children into the ocean.
Witnesses say the woman, along with her 3-year-old, 9-year-old and 10-year-old were rescued by onlookers at the beach.
Witnesses say the children were screaming for help, claiming their mother was trying to kill them.
Donna Pratt said, “And when the gentleman went up to try to help because the kids were hollering, ‘Help us.’ When they got up to the car and started to open the door, she immediately went farther, deeper into the ocean. And then when she got so that she was facing the ocean and the waves were coming stronger, I saw her bail right out the window and the kids were still in the car.”
The woman could be seen walking toward the shore as witnesses rushed into the water to save her children.
The rough water took the van immediately after the children were rescued.
The woman, who isn’t talking to investigators, is undergoing a mental evaluation.
Authorities say the children will likely be turned over to a relative in Orlando.