The mom who drove her SUV into the Atlantic Ocean with her three children inside has been identified. Her name is Ebony Wilkerson. She's 32-years-old from Cross, South Carolina. She had left her husband and was staying with a sister in Daytona.
Caller: “She's having, like, psychosis or something. She's talking about Jesus and that there are demons in my house.”
911 operator: “Does she have the kids with her?”
Caller: “Yes, she's got the kids in the car with her.”
She also said Ebony may be using prescription drugs which made her drowsy.
Caller: “I'm trying to keep them safe because she's not good enough to drive.”
Police quickly intercepted her black Honda Odyssey minivan about five miles from the beach.
Two officers reported that "It was clear (Ebony) Wilkerson was suffering from some sort of mental illness." But she "...showed no signs she intended to harm herself or her children."
Sheriff Ben Johnson said she claimed she was on her way to a women's shelter, saying, “They had nothing that they could go on that they could take her into custody.”
Two hours later, she drove into the ocean off Daytona Beach and passersby and lifeguards pulled off a dramatic rescue, all caught on video.
One of the heroes, Stacy Robinson, plucked two of the children to safety. He was seen carrying a child in each arm. He said, “At first I thought it was a joke until I saw a little boy hanging out of the window, flagging for help.”
The drama is an echo of the notorious case of Susan Smith from 20 years ago. Also from South Carolina, in 1994, Smith pushed her car into a lake, drowning her two children inside. Smith is currently serving 30 years in prison.