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Mom who drove kids into ocean gets conditional release from mental hospital

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - The woman who drove her SUV into the ocean with her children inside was granted conditional release from a mental hospital during a court appearance Thursday afternoon, reports CBS affiliate WKMG.

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Ebony Wilkerson (right) in court June 29, 2017 WKMG

Ebony Wilkerson, 36, made national headlines in March 2014 when the then-pregnant mother drove her SUV into the water off Daytona Beach, with her three children inside. Rescuers saved the children, 10, 9, and 3, and they were not injured. The incident was captured on a beach camera.

Wilkerson's husband now has custody of the four children, according to the Daytona Beach News-Journal.

She was reportedly found not guilty by reason of insanity on three counts of felony child abuse, the paper reports, and was ordered committed to a state hospital in December 2014.  

Wilkerson was at one point transferred to a residential treatment facility, but was ordered returned to the state hospital in July 2016 when she stopped taking her medication and suffered a psychotic breakdown, according to the paper.

WKMG reports that upon release, Wilkerson must stay in transitional housing and will need to take injectable medications. She will not be permitted to have physical contact with her children until a therapist deems it safe.

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