"We are talking about a tragedy in this city that I would say is probably second to none." That's how Newburgh's mayor described the deaths of a mother and her three young children after the 25-year-old drove the minivan they were in into the Hudson River Tuesday night. YNN's Christian Farrell has the story from Newburgh.
NEWBURGH, N.Y. -- Newburgh police said LaShanda Armstrong, 25, plunged her minivan full of children into the cold Hudson River Tuesday night, killing herself, as well as Landen Pierre, 5, Lance Pierre, 2, and Lainaina Pierre, 11 months.
Newburgh Police Chief Michael Ferrara said, "An investigation has revealed that all the children were inside the vehicle when it entered the water, but the 10-year-old child managed to escape."
At a Wednesday morning news conference at City Hall, the City of Newburgh's police chief identified the 10-year-old boy as La'Shaun Armstrong. Police said he managed to climb out of the sinking vehicle's window and got help at the Newburgh Fire Department.
"He was soaking wet," described Newburgh Fire Chief Michael Vatter. "The river at this time of the year is probably about 40, 45 degrees. So he was probably suffering a little hypothermia at that point also. We got out whatever information we were able to get from him with respect to what immediately needed to be done."
Police said they received a phone call just before 8 p.m. from a relative of the family who was concerned about a domestic dispute at the family's residence on Williams Street. Police when they responded, no one was home. Apparently Armstrong had already packed up her vehicle with children and was headed toward the river to take her life, as well as the lives of the children.
"It's weird because, you know what, during the summer and everything they're out here playing, playing with their toys and everything, have a little cookout. Now all of a sudden they're not there," said one neighbor.
"It's crazy. It's really crazy," said another neighbor. "Who knows what those kids could have been."
Police said Jean Pierre, 26, the father of the three deceased children who also lived at the Williams Street home, has been questioned but he has not been charged with any crime related to this tragedy.
Watch the full press conference in the video below:
Albany/HV: Mother drives minivan into Hudson, killing herself and three kids
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