Local New York news is reporting this morning that a woman named Lashanda Armstrong, who had been involved in a domestic dispute, loaded her four children into a minivan late last night and then let the oldest, a 10-year-old boy, out before driving into the Hudson River. The three younger children -- two boys, ages 5 and 2, and an 11-month-old girl -- and the mother died. The incident has already been ruled a suicide, but clearly it was also a murder.
Committing suicide itself could be considered a selfish act, but to think that this mother also took her three youngest children down with her ... There is just absolutely no way to comprehend what could compel someone to do this. The incident reminds me of what happened on a couple of years back when a drunk and high Long Island mom went the wrong way on the Taconic, killing herself and seven others ...
When I first heard about that story, I couldn't help but jump immediately to the conclusion that the woman was seriously intoxicated and/or on drugs. That must have been the case here, too, right? Because you don't just DO something like this in a completely sober state of mind. I would guess that both of these mothers had to have been both mentally unstable and possibly on drugs. Or was there a pattern of abuse?
Maybe, maybe not. Strangely, the AP quoted a neighbor of the victims, Tina Claybourne, who described Armstrong as "a very good mom ... She took care of her kids. She always was with her kids."
Strange ... and so sad. The only silver lining here -- if you can even call it that -- is that the 10-year-old boy's life was spared. There's no real explanation for why the mother let him out of the car. He ended up running to a nearby fire station and alerting firefighters that his mother had driven off a boat ramp in Newburgh, which is about 60 miles north of New York City. Of course, it was too late by the time they got there. The car was already 10 feet underwater.
Wow. I can only hope that authorities do their best to make sure he's in a safe home environment from now on. Because memories of this horrific incident are sure to scar him for life.
What do you think could possibly trigger such a tragic incident like this?
Image via Luke H. Gordon/Flickr