In a desperate attempt at survival, a 10-year-old upstate boy climbed through the window of his mother’s minivan and swam to safety after she intentionally drove into the cold and murky Hudson River with all four of her children inside, police said Wednesday.
The boy, Lashaun Armstrong, is the only survivor in the Tuesday night tragedy near his home in Newburgh, about 60 miles north of the city. His three siblings — Landon Pierre, 5, Lance Pierre, 2, and Lainaina Pierre, 11 months — all died, along with their mother, Lashandra Armstrong, 25, in the apparent murder-suicide.
“This is a dark time for [Lashaun] and my family,” Lashandra’s brother, Ty’Mar, told ABC News.
“We’re talking about a tragedy in this city that is second to none,” said Newburgh Mayor Nick Valentine.
A passerby found the soaked and freezing Lashaun on the shore and took him to a nearby fire station, where he detailed what had happened. Firefighters found the car — with Armstrong and her children dead inside — about 75 feet from the shore under about eight feet of water.
Police said the event may be related to a domestic dispute that had happened earlier Tuesday night between Armstrong and Jean Pierre, who is the father of three of her children. Armstrong left the home after the fight, though there was a series of calls or texts between the couple. Police said they’ve spoken with Pierre and that there are no criminal charges.
Neighbors yesterday fondly recalled Armstrong.
“She was a very good mom,” said neighbor Tina Claybourne. “She took care of her kids. She always was with her kids.”