New Jersey Mother Charged with 3 Counts of Attempted Murder After Driving her 3 Teenagers Into the Delaware River; Thank God for the Good Samaritan Who Rushed Into the Water to Rescue Them

Joann Smith  CBS NEW YORK
Joann Smith CBS NEW YORK

In an apparent murder-suicide attempt, a 49-year-old mother allegedly drove her three teenagers into the Delaware River this week, prosecutors said. 

Joann Smith’s van was partially submerged in the river after it accelerated onto a boat ramp and into the water near Florence, N.J., prompting a Good Samaritan to rush to the rescue and pull the four occupants from the sinking van, leaving only one child injured with cuts to a leg.

On Thursday, Joann Smith’s initial appearance in Burlington County Superior Court was postponed to at least Monday, prosecutors said. Smith has been charged with three counts of attempted murder and three counts of endangering the welfare of children. She’s being held in jail in lieu of $600,000 bail.

Smith was expected to undergo a medical evaluation. Her husband, Jeffrey Smith, told the Associated Press that she’s been taking medications for an unspecified mental health issue that she’s struggled with for more than a decade. When reached by phone Thursday, Smith declined comment to the Los Angeles Times.

Smith also told the AP that the teens — ages 13, 14 and 15 — had been on the phone with him and trying to reach 911 as the van hit the water.

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Source: The LA Times | Paresh Dave

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