It was a stormy day at Daytona Beach in Florida when holidaymaker Tim Tesseneer was driving with his family along the waterfront. Sitting in the passenger seat, his wife noticed a car that was being driven purposely into the sea. Astonished, she began filming it. But then Tim saw something that made all his hair stand on end. A child wound down the car window and screamed, «Help us! Our mom’s trying to kill us!»
Without a second thought, the father jumped out of his car and ran to the minivan in the surf. Together, with another visitor to the beach, Stacy Robinson, who had also rushed to help, he tried to get the mom at the wheel to turn the car around, but without success. «She looked back at us with this awful blank stare,» Tim recalls, «I’ve been using the word ‘possessed,’ I hate to use it, but that’s what it looked like.»
Still more people were running towards the waves and they succeeded in freeing two of the children through the window of the car — which was still running. As lifeguards struggled to open the door to rescue the youngest child, the mother waded calmly through the water in the direction of the shore. The three-year-old was eventually pulled out through the open trunk of the car.
It turned out that, as a result of her mental health problems, the 32-year-old pregnant mom had been taken to a psychiatric hospital by her sister the day before. But the mother of three had checked herself out of the facility. Hours later, in her confused state, she drove her car with her children inside directly into the ocean. Without the quick help of the rescuers, the whole thing would have ended in death for the car’s occupants.
You can watch a report of the rescue here:
After the incident, the 32-year-old woman was once more placed under psychological observation and her three children are now in the protection of the authorities. Fortunately, thanks to the quick intervention of the witnesses on the beach, the worst possible outcome was avoided. We need more people like them.