Tuesday night, 25-year-old Lashandra Armstrong killed herself and three of her children by driving into the Hudson River in Newburgh, New York.
According to the authorities, Armstrong had all four of her children in the car when she plunged it into the river. Her young children Landen Pierre, 5, Lance Pierre, 2, and Lainaina Pierre, 11 months, all drowned to death, while her oldest child, 10-year-old La’Shaun Armstrong was able to roll down the window and swim ashore.
Although the reasons for the murder-suicide are unclear, initial reports claim Ms. Armstrong was distraught after a domestic dispute with her husband where she found out he was allegedly cheating on her.
Meave Ryan, a passerby who found young La’Shaun wet and shivering on the banks of the river, told the authorities that the boy said his mom tried to reverse the van before it drove into the murky water and cried out, “I made a mistake, I made a mistake,” as it hit the water.
Understandably, Armstrong’s family is devastated and wonders what prompted Lashandra to resort to such drastic measures.
Just hours after the horrific incident, Armstrong’s aunt retuned to the river and asked, “Why would she drive her car down there?”
Although Lashandra Armstrong’s aunt, Angela Gilliam, made it a point to say her niece was a good mother, she admitted to sensing her niece needed a helping hand. After speaking to her nice on Tuesday, she thought that she was “not too good,” but Lashandra still didn’t reach out for help.
Concerned about her niece, Gilliam later called the Newburgh police and they told her they had gone to Armstrong’s house for a domestic dispute.
Like many women, Lashandra Armstrong suffered in silence. Shaniesha Strange, a supervisor at Armstrong’s children’s school, said she looked like something was bothering her when she picked up the children that fateful day, but Lashandra didn’t reach out for help.
“It just seemed like she was having a bad day,” Strange said. “I could see that something was kind of bothering her but she didn’t talk about it. She wasn’t one to talk about her business. The only thing she’d say was that she was so alone. She’s a single parent, she takes great care of her kids, goes to school, and works. She really needed a helping hand.”
Unfortunately for Lashandra Armstrong and her children, help came a little too late.