Mom goes home 5 years after driving van with kids into ocean off Florida

Posted at 11:02 AM, Sep 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-20 11:02:50-04

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A South Carolina woman who drove her minivan with her children inside into the Atlantic Ocean in Florida five years ago has been allowed to return home to her family.

Volusia County Circuit Judge Raul Zambrano on Thursday allowed 38-year-old Ebony Wilkerson to leave Daytona Beach, where she'd been in jail or transitional care since March 4, 2014. The family lives in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Assistant Public Defender Jay Crocker tells The Daytona Beach News-Journal that Wilkerson will still be on medication and will see a mental health counselor in South Carolina. He says she's happy to return to her family.

Authorities say Wilkerson was pregnant when she drove the minivan into the ocean, where rescuers grabbed three screaming children as waves rocked the vehicle.