Boy Survives Mother’s Murder-Suicide Attempt

New York–A 10-year-old boy managed to free himself from the family’s minivan after his mother drove it into the Hudson River in Newburgh, N.Y. on Tuesday night,  police said. The young mother and the other three children in the van did not survive.

According to authorities, the driver’s-side window was down when the van was towed from the water, which suggests how the boy was able to escape from the submerging vehicle. The 10-year-old, who has been indentified as Lashaun Armstrong, then swam ashore to safety.

His mother, Lashaundra Armstrong, 25, drove the minivan off of a boat ramp into the river, just a few blocks from their residence, according to police. Also in the vehicle were were her three younger children, ages 5, 2 and 11 months old.

A woman who discovered the boy drove him to a nearby firehouse to get help. According to Newburgh Fire Chief Michael Vatter, the woman showed up with the boy who was soaking wet which is when they learned of the incident. 

Shortly after the boy arrived at the fire station, rescue efforts were launched by police and firefighters. After searching for about an hour,  the van, which was submerged under eight feet of water and about 25 feet from shore, was recovered from the river.

Newburgh officials said the tragic event may have been spurred by a domestic occurrence around 7:30 p.m., between Ms. Armstrong and the father of three of her four children.  Someone called in to police and reported hearing some type of disturbance, however when police arrived no one was at the apartment, said officials.

Lashaun Armstrong is currently under the care of Orange County of Social Services Child Protective Division, who will see to both his physical and emotional needs for the time being.

“Our concern will continue to be health and well being of the surviving child,” said Social Services Commissioner David Jolly. “We can report that the child is safe, and that we will be offering ongoing support as he begins to mourn the loss of his mother and siblings.”

Social Services did not provide any specific information about the boy’s whereabouts or where he will end up