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Saturday, May 19, 2018
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Mom who drove into ocean undergoing mental eval

DAYTONA BEACH — A pregnant South Carolina woman who drove a minivan carrying her three young children into the ocean surf off Daytona Beach has been hospitalized for mental evaluation.

A Volusia County Sheriff's Office spokesman said Thursday that Ebony Wilkerson was still being evaluated under the Baker Act, a law that allows authorities to involuntarily take people into custody if they seem to be a threat to themselves.

Bystanders and officers helped pull Wilkerson, 31, and her children — ages 3, 9 and 10 — from their minivan as it was almost submerged. No one was injured.

Wilkerson was stopped in her black Honda Odyssey by police two hours before she drove into the ocean. Wilkerson expressed fear that her husband would be coming to Florida to harm her and her children, said police Chief Mike Chitwood.

Wilkerson's sister had called police worried because Wilkerson had been talking about demons. The officers found her lucid and let her go. A short time later she drive the minivan into the ocean.

The children were turned over to the Florida Department of Children & Families.

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