Mother in Minivan Undergoing Mental Evaluation

A dramatic 911 call reveals the pregnant mother who drove car into ocean may have been mentally ill.
3:00 | 03/06/14

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Transcript for Mother in Minivan Undergoing Mental Evaluation
Right to those brand-new details about that dramatic drive into the ocean caught on tape. A minivan filled with children now the startling 911 call and the rescuers seen on tape all speaking out this morning. ABC's Steve osunsami is in daytona this morning with the latest on the mom behind the wheel. Good morning, Steve. Reporter: Good morning, robin. Police are telling us that this mother who was driving into the ocean from the beech directly behind me is pregnant and is undergoing mental evaluations at a local hospital this morning. This dramatic rescue on the beach, a mother with her three kids inside her minivan driving into the ocean. Saying help. Reporter: Her son waving out the window for help. This morning, the two men who tried to convince her to stop tell us she ignored their pleas. I'll never get the picture out of my head that little boy had his outstretched arms saying please help me. My mom -- hour mom is trying to kill us. Reporter: Tim Tesseneer from North Carolina was at the beach with his wife who was recording the video. When I was speaking to her, her eyes was like -- was -- Reporter: Wide? Was wide. Reporter: Stacy Robinson and his girlfriend were just about to head home when he raced to the minivan driving into the surf. By the time I ran over, I get there, I noticed the son was snatching at the wheel trying to get her to come back towards the shore. Reporter: The 6'6" Robinson reached into the passenger side window and never let go rolling down the windows and unlocking the doors in surf up to his chest. He grabbed two of the children and the lifeguards came, got the mother out of the car and rescued a toddler still trapped in a car seat. The waves were strong, the water was cold. They got in the water, got them out of there quickly. If it had had been minutes longer the outcome probably would have been different. Reporter: Now we're learning more about the 32-year-old mother behind the wheel. Ebony Wilkerson drove here from South Carolina. She's like having psychosis or something. Reporter: This is the 911 call from her family to police before the incident saying she was having, quote, mental issues. She's talking about Jesus and that there's demons in my house and that I'm trying to control her. Reporter: After that call, police say she drove to the beach. This morning her children are in protective custody. Police tell us they did reach out to the mother after that call from her relatives but say that was before the incident here at the beach so there was nothing they can do. Authorities are telling us they're not sure whether she will be charged with anything or whether they consider this a medical issue. Robin. All right, Steve, we'll bring in chief legal affairs anchor Dan Abrams to weigh in on all this and picking up with what Steve left off, police did talk to the mother prior to but couldn't do anything. Right, under Florida law there's something called the baker act which allows you to involuntarily confine someone in a mental institution but only if they have found that there's a substantial likelihood based on recent behavior that the person would be a threat to him or herself or others and what the police are saying, look, we talked to her. She said she was going to a shelter to try to get away from her husband. It all seemed to be legitimate. There was no reason for us to believe that she was going to be a threat to herself or her family and as a result, we did what we do in almost every case, let the person go on with his or her life. We heard staph talking about the possibility of criminal charges. It's possible. They're going to have to decide whether they believe there was a crime committed meaning did she have the intent to commit a crime? We always talk about the insanity defense and if she were tried no question that would be the defense in a case like this. What people forget sometimes the authorities don't even decide to prosecute and they say to themself, you know what, we don't believe that this person was able to establish the init tent to commit a crime. And so that could be what prosecutors decide here and decide we don't even think there's a crime, no need for a trial. The family, they did what they could. I mean they call the police. They tried -- Everyone in this case did what they should have done, the family, the police went and talked to her. The rescuers on the beach, quickly acted. Unbelievable. All right, Dan, thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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