Cops: Mom drove into river trying to kill 3 kids

Updated at: 04/17/2014 10:31 AM

Photo credit: MGN
Photo credit: MGN

(AP) FLORENCE TOWNSHIP, N.J. - FLORENCE TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) A southern New Jersey woman is accused of trying to drown her three teenage children by driving a van into the Delaware River.

Police have charged 49-year-old Joann Smith with attempted murder. She's being held on $600,000 bail.

Authorities say Smith drove a van onto a boat ramp and into the water in Florence Township, about 20 miles northeast of Philadelphia, around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

A bystander helped Smith and the children, ages 13 to 15, escape from the partly submerged vehicle.

The rescuer, Darnell Taylor, tells WCAU-TV in Philadelphia that he was driving to dinner with his wife when he saw the van and heard screaming.

One of the children suffered cuts. The two boys and a girl are staying with relatives.

Police say they don't know if the woman has a lawyer yet.

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