crimesider

Mom who drove into ocean with kids in car gives birth

Ebony Wilkerson

AP Photo/Volusia County Corrections

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - A South Carolina woman who drove her minivan into the Atlantic Ocean with her three children inside has given birth at a Florida hospital.

A spokesman for the Florida Department of Children and Families told the Daytona Beach News-Journal that the newborn is with family members. There was no word about the baby's gender or when the birth occurred.

Police say Ebony Wilkerson, 32, locked the doors of her 2012 Honda Odyssey, put up the windows and told her three frightened children - ages 3, 9 and 10 - to close their eyes and go to sleep as she drove into the ocean on March 4.

Video of the incident shows Wilkerson's minivan traveling along the shoreline before it eventually veers into the water.

The children were rescued by beach officials and onlookers, and were not seriously injured. Wilkerson was taken to a hospital following the incident for a mental health evaluation. She was later arrested and was ordered held on $1.2 million bail. She faces three counts each of attempted second-degree murder and child abuse.

A few weeks after her arrest, Wilkerson was transported from jail to a hospital where she was briefly held after she was allegedly caught punching herself in the stomach.

Wilkerson's attorneys have filed notice saying they may seek an insanity defense.