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Mom drives kids into river; boy escapes

A mother and three children were found dead in a submerged minivan she intentionally drove into the Hudson River after a fourth child escaped and got help, officials said yesterday.

A mother and three children were found dead in a submerged minivan she intentionally drove into the Hudson River after a fourth child escaped and got help, officials said yesterday.

A drenched and shaken Lashaun Armstrong, 10, stumbled into the Newburgh Fire Department at about 7:50 p.m. local time on Tuesday, police said.

“The boy reported that his mother had driven the car into the river,” said Newburgh Police Chief Michael Ferrara.

It appeared the children were alive when their mother “intentionally drove the car into the river,” he said.

After an hour-long search-and-rescue effort by police and fire department dive teams and a helicopter, the car was found submerged in 8 feet of murky water about 25 feet off shore near a boat ramp.

Dead in the vehicle were Lashandra Armstrong, 25, her sons Landon Pierce, 5, and Lance Pierre, 2, as well as daughter, Lainaina Pierce, 11 months, authorities said.

Domestic dispute?

A short while before the child showed up at the fire station in dripping wet clothes, one of the mother’s relatives had alerted police about a possible domestic dispute at Armstrong’s home.

“There was tussling in the background but also a history of domestic problems in the past,” Ferrara said.

Authorities said the children’s father, Jean Pierre, did not live in the home. They are seeking him for questioning, police said.

 
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