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Mother Drives Minivan Into Hudson, Kills Herself, 3 Children

Chief: Domestic Dispute Earlier May Have Led To Tragedy
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Newburgh tragedy

This was the scene on Tuesday night, April 12, 2011, in Newburgh, N.Y., where police and firefighters pulled a minivan containing the bodies of a mother and three small children out of the Hudson River. (Photo: CBS 2)

NEWBURGH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A woman who had just been involved in a domestic dispute loaded her four children into a minivan Tuesday night before letting one out and driving the rest of them into the Hudson River, firefighters said. The woman and three young children, ages 5, 2 and 11 months, were killed.

The 10-year-old boy who had been let out of the minivan ran to a nearby fire station and alerted firefighters, Chief Michael Vatter said. The boy told firefighters his mother had driven off a boat ramp in Newburgh, about 60 miles north of New York City, and into the murky water of the river, which runs between New York and New Jersey, Vatter said.

Firefighters and police officers responded with boats. Divers searched for the minivan for about an hour before finding it submerged in 10 feet of water about 25 yards offshore. They used a heavy-duty tow truck to pull it up the boat ramp and onto land.

Everyone inside was dead, Vatter said.

The woman lived about six blocks from where she and her children perished, he said.

The domestic altercation occurred about 10 minutes before the woman drove into the river, said Vatter, who didn’t have any more information on it.

Please stay with CBSNewYork.com throughout the day on Wednesday for more on this developing story.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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