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Rescuer: Mom who drove kids into ocean looked 'possessed'

A bystander who helped rescue three young children from a minivan submerged off the Florida coast Tuesday said the mother appeared "possessed" and "spaced out" behind the wheel.

In a phone interview with Bill Hemmer on "America's Newsroom" Friday, Tim Tesseneer described the "terrifying" look on mom Ebony Wilkerson's face as she turned the vehicle deeper into the surf after he told her what she was doing was wrong.

"All she said was, 'We're OK, we're going to be fine,'" said Tesseneer, whose wife was recording the ordeal from the beach.

"The kids at that moment, the one in the back seat was screaming, 'Please help us, our mom is trying to kill us!'"

"We had to get those kids out of the water."

Tesseneer and other onlookers can be seen on the video outside the car pulling the children to safety while Wilkerson escaped through a window. No one was injured.

The pregnant South Carolina mom was hospitalized for a mental evaluation after police reported she was uncooperative at the scene. Her children, ages three, nine and 10, are now under the care of state welfare authorities.

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  • Charlie Hurt

    Columnist, The Washington Times

  • Ken Paxton

    Texas attorney general

  • Buck Sexton

    Former CIA officer

  • Rep. Ron DeSantis

    R-Fla; House Foreign Affairs Committee

  • Brad Blakeman

    Former deputy assistant to President George W. Bush

  • Capri Cafaro

    Former Ohio Senate Democratic leader

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  • Stephen Sigmund

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    Director of Turning Point USA