Woman drove car into lake with son inside, police say

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A mother is accused of driving into Lake Jordan with her son in the car (WTVD)

A Wake County mother is under investigation by the State Bureau of Investigation. On Saturday, eyewitnesses say they watched as the woman drove her car into Jordan Lake, with her 6-year-old son inside.

In an email, Shannon O'Toole with the SBI confirms they are investigating this as a "deliberate act."

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Eyewitnesses say this is the ramp the woman drove down

Chatham County Emergency confirms they responded to a call of a car in Jordan Lake Saturday at the Seaforth Boat Ramp. When they arrived, they found the mother and boy were already on shore.

An eyewitness, who did not want to be identified, shared what happened before help arrived. She said she was in a boat on the lake with her husband, daughter and son-in-law on Saturday morning.

"We had put our boat in the water and stopped a little ways off the shore to put our canopy top up, when I looked back towards the boat ramp and saw a big splash and thought, 'What in the world was that?' All of a sudden, I realized that it was a car that had plunged into the water," said the eyewitness.

She described the car as already floating away when they turned their boat around to see what had happened.

What she describes next is chilling.

"We got to the car and there was a lady and a child in the car. The lady was sitting in the driver's side holding a child in her arms. The car was starting to sink and take on water. We started screaming at the lady to hand us her child through the sunroof, and my son-in-law had his arm stretched out to get the child. But the lady shut the sunroof on his hand and started shaking her head no.

"I started banging on the sun roof to try to break it because water was coming in and they were about to go under. We noticed a lot of alcohol bottles in the front seat, so we then realized she was not very coherent. My husband tried to push the car back towards the boat ramp with our boat but it was not pushing the car fast enough, and water was pouring in, and the car was going down fast. We then decided to ram the boat into the car and maybe the force would break the windows.

"The force did break the windows and the car went down into the water completely. My husband and son-in-law jumped into the water, and my son in law pulled the woman up and got her over to my husband, who was near the boat dock. He got her up and out of the water. My son-in-law was feeling all around for the little boy when all of a sudden he felt his hand coming through the back glass. He reached out and grabbed it and pulled him out of the water."

The eyewitness said the mother began hitting her husband, telling him to let her go, that "she wanted to die."

Within minutes, help had arrived from the North Chatham Fire Department, the Chatham County Sheriff's Office, the state park and EMS responders.

The woman, who authorities will only say is in her 40s, and her son were taken to the hospital that day. They say she is not in police custody, and that they are investigating. Police would not confirm whether the woman and child were still hospitalized.

Related Topics:
child in carwater rescueu.s. & worldNorth Carolina
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