NEWBURGH, N.Y. – I was too busy troubleshooting why our search function wasn’t working yesterday to read the news about the woman who packed her four kids in a minivan then drove it into the Hudson River. Sadly, she and three of her kids drowned, but her 10-year-old son was able to escape the sinking van and swim to shore.

Earlier that day,  25-year-old Lashanda Armstrong picked up her four kids, ages 11-months to 10-years-old, at the Young and Unique Christian Development Child Care. One of the workers noted she seemed stressed out. Later that night, a relative called 911 after they heard Lashanda arguing with Jean Pierre, the father of Armstrong’s three youngest children.

By time police arrived at the home, no one was there. They did not know that shortly after the 911 call was made, Armstrong had packed Lashaun Armstrong, 10, Landon Pierre, 5, Lance Pierre, 2, and 11-month-old Laianna Pierre into a minivan and then drove it off a boat ramp into the 45-degree water of the Hudson.

Police believe that 10-year-old Lashuan was able to use the power window button to roll down the window and get out of the van before it was completely submerged. By the time he crawled out of the water and on to the boat ramp, the van had already disappeared. Luckily, a passerby saw the boy and took him to a nearby fire station where the boy explained what had happened. Rescuers arrived at the boat ramp and divers were able to locate the van after about an hour, but all of the occupants were already dead.

Friends and family are shocked at Lashanda’s decision to end her life as well as the life of her kids. From all reports she was a good mom who was studying social work at Orange County Community College. One article mentioned the possibility of postpartum depression combined with the normal stress of raising four kids alone. Pierre, who did not live with the family, has been questioned by police. Lashaun is staying with his aunt.

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