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Mother Lashandra Armstrong kills self, 3 kids by driving van into Hudson River, 1 escapes

A boat ramp where a woman who drove her minivan into the Hudson River is seen in Newburgh, N.Y., Wednesday, April 13, 2011. Seth Wenig/AP

Mother kills self, 3 kids by driving van into Hudson River, 1 escapes
A boat ramp where a woman who drove her minivan into the Hudson River is seen in Newburgh, N.Y., Wednesday, April 13, 2011.
Seth Wenig/AP

(CBS/WCBS) NEWBURGH, N.Y - Police believe Lashandra Armstrong of Orange County, N.Y. killed herself and three of her children by driving her minivan into the Hudson River Tuesday night - one child managed to escape.

Pictures: Mom drives into river, kills 3 kids, 1 escapes

Police announced Wednesday that the possible murder-suicide took place after Armstrong was involved in a domestic dispute, reports CBS station WCBS.

Officials say that Armstrong had all four of her children in the minivan when she drove it into the Hudson River, the station reports.

Armstrong's 10-year-old son Lashaun managed to slip out of the van by rolling down the power window, which was still functioning. Once he made it out, the boy swam back to the shore. A passerby found him soaking wet and took him to firefighters, authorities said according to WCBS.

Lashaun told them his mother had just driven into the river with his brothers and sister. He may have been suffering some hypothermia from the 45-degree waters when he told them about his escape, the station reports.

Police had been responding to a domestic dispute call at the woman's home about six blocks away from the river when they heard what happened, reports the station.

Officers arrived to find an empty house, and minutes later Lashaun was being dropped off at the firehouse, the station reports.

Armstrong's neighbors were shocked, according to the station.

"I just know that she works, and she goes to school...she was always out with the kids, playing. It's amazing," said Carmen Davila, the station reports.

  • Camille Mann

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