Fortunately there were witnesses on hand to be able to rescue the children from the watery grave their mother was trying to drive them into.
Ebony Wilkerson was 32 years old in March 2014 and 28 weeks pregnant when she packed her three children into her silver minivan and drove down to Daytona Beach, Florida. But she didn't stop when she reached the parking area.
Instead, the mother started to drive down the beach towards the water, with her children screaming frantically that she was trying to kill them out of the windows.
Onlookers originally thought it was a joke until they saw and heard the children's desperate cries, and that's when everyone in earshot sprang into action.
Source: YouTube/ABC News
Tim Tesseneer and his wife had been driving past at the time when they heard the screams, and while his wife started recording the events, he leaped out of the car and started running down the sand towards the vehicle.
At the same time, bystanders came pouring down towards the car from all directions to help.
Stacy Robinson had been down at the beach with his girlfriend when the incident occurred. He shared with ABC News that while his girlfriend had initially thought it was a joke, the young boy had leaned out of the window to confirm there was nothing funny happening.
Source: YouTube/ABC News
"The son was snatching at the wheel, trying to get her to come back toward the shore and I was asking, I was like, 'What is going on, why are you driving on the water?' I said, 'you're going to get in trouble... you're not supposed to be doing this,'" Robinson said. All she repeated is 'OK, We are OK, we are OK.' I was like, 'you've got to get out of the water. You're going to get in trouble. You got kids. You're scaring them. They're crying.' And she said, she was like, 'OK' as through she was coming back out the water and took off. She sped off."
The Good Samaritans who had flocked to the car in a rescue mission rushed after her, pulling her children from the car's windows.
They also pulled Wilkerson from the car, who then appeared to try to stop them from rescuing her 3-year-old from her car seat. Eventually, she walked away from the scene and left them to rescue her child.
Just seconds after everyone was clear of the vehicle, a huge wave pulled the car deeper into the water.
The previous day, Wilkerson's sister had tried to have her admitted to hospital, only for her to check herself out. Her sister then contacted the police, just hours before the incident, to warn them of her mental state and that she could be a danger.
Sheriff Ben Johnson later explained the police's lack of action following her sister's call, stating that she did not "fit the criteria" to do anything with her.
Wilkerson later claimed that she had been severely disoriented due to low blood sugar levels, according to Daily Mail. She was charged with three counts of attempted murder and child abuse. She was committed to a mental health institute following her hearing.