Mother Kills Herself And Three Children By Driving Minivan Into River

Wed, April 13, 2011 5:46pm EST by 5 Comments

How could a mother kill her own children? An expert says she may have been suffering from post-partum depression.

Lashanda Armstrong, 25, of Newburgh, NY, who had just been in a domestic dispute, loaded her four children into her minivan Tuesday night, April 12, and drove towards the Hudson River. One child, a 10-year-old boy named Leshaun, escaped from the minivan after his mother drove him and his three younger siblings, two boys, Landon and Lance, ages 5 and 2, and an 11-month-old girl, Lainaina, off a boat ramp into the river. But what possessed her to do something like this?

Leshaun escaped from a window in the car and swam to shore, before being taken to a nearby firehouse by a passer-by. But it was too late. Lashandra and her three younger children were found dead about an hour later by police divers, submerged in 10 feet of water about 25 yards off shore. “It’s a horrible sight, all of them in the car,” Newburgh Police Chief Michael Ferrara told the Times Herald-Record newspaper.

Why did this woman kill her children after a fight with her husband? Why?

“There are things we don’t know, there are several possibilities,” psychatrist Dr. Gail Saltzberg tells the Today show. “Was there a mental illness involved, was there any depression involved, was there any drugs or alcohol involved?”

Dr. Saltzberg added that the mother may have been suffering from post-partum depression after the birth of her 11-month-old girl. “Women can become psychotically depressed and do something terrible,” she explains.

So, why did the mother let her 10-year-old son go? Dr. Saltzberg says that it might be because he is more defined as an individual, while the woman’s younger children were still “her babies” and “a part of her.”

We just feel terrible for the young boy who knows has to live with this for the rest of his life. Just a tragically sad situation.

–Leigh Blickley

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Posted at 5:13 PM on November 20, 2011  

omg this chick is crazy! who would do this?!? I feel sooooo bad for the lil boy..having the image for life of this crap.

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rachel s.

Posted at 7:03 PM on April 13, 2011  

this breaks my heart, and makes me so angry. Why did she have to take her children with her? They didn’t deserve this.

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Posted at 3:12 PM on April 13, 2011  

NJmom you have no idea what this lady may have had to endure. She did not just kill her kids like some people she killed herself too. She must have been in a lot of pain unbearable she may have thought. I pray for their souls and for her son.

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Posted at 3:06 PM on April 25, 2011  

Wow I can’t believe you would actually defend the actions of this woman. Killing a child is without a doubt the worst crime a person is capable of, not only are they helpless to resist but you are cutting off a life that could blossom into something great and meaningful. This pitiful excuse for a person took three helpless innocents to the grave with her and your first thought is to look to her problems. You say NJmom has no idea what she was going through, are you implying that at a certain level of suffering to kill your three children is justified? Hitler encountered difficulties as a young man too, but I guess we should forgive the millions slaughtered because Adolph had it rough. Perhaps child molesters should get hugs instead of prison time.

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Posted at 9:37 AM on April 13, 2011  

I feel awful for the 10 year old…. I predict years of therapy in his future. So many people in the world trying to have babies and cant and this piece of crap mother kills 3. Those young children deserved to live.

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