Kids Screamed as Mom Drove Van into Ocean, Rescuers Say

Bystanders who rushed to save three kids from a sinking minivan detail the harrowing moments.
3:00 | 03/06/14

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Transcript for Kids Screamed as Mom Drove Van into Ocean, Rescuers Say
You're about to see a potential disaster unfol. A pregnant woman with three children in her minivan, driving directly into the atlantic association. With one of the kids leaning out the window yelling help us, bystanders leap into action with only seconds to prevent a worst case scenario. And all the while, there was a camera rolling. . Imagine driving past a beach and seeing this, a car deliberately driving into the ocean. Are they saying help? Help! Reporter: Then suddenly you hear the screams of young children. If they're saying help, that's different. You sit still! Reporter: Tim Tessier jumped out of the car to help. His wife recording it all. A wid cuz screaming help us, help us, our mom is trying to kill us. That's when it turned into a race against time to save three little children from a watery grave. All I was worried about was those kids. They were screaming and their outskrech outstretched arms. I don't know, I did what was nature natural. 21-year-old Stacy robin was also there, pleading with the kids' 32-year-old mother ebony will kerrson to turn the call around. Snatching at the wheel trying to get her to come towards shore. Lady, you have to get out of the water. She looked back at us with this awful blank stare, just, I've been using the word posessed. I hate to use that. We're okay, we're okay. The son was tugging on the wheel. When I was speaking to her, her eyes was -- Was wide? Wide. Reporter: They say she just kept driving. Stacy never lets go of the car. The surf is up to his chest. He reaches into the fan to get the power windows down and his arms around two of the children, ages 9 and 10. I pulled the son out first and the daughter and I came walking out with both of them. I still don't believe it happened. I'm just glad I was there. Reporter: People watching from the shore can't believe their eyes. The waves were just pounding into the water and down until it submerged. While a passing tourist captured it all on video. In the middle of the chaos, a shocking discovery. There was still another child, the youngest, a 3-year-old, still trapped in a car seat in the back. Lifeguards try to open the front door, but it looks like the mother is attempting to stop them. Watch again, there's a struggle and then the mother just walks away. Seconds later, they get the toddler out through the back. God, there's a baby in the car. One of the two lifeguards still inside, barely getting out in time. Watching them carry the kids out of the van was very emotional. We were jumping up for joy and screaming for goodness, yeah. Reporter: Just five seconds later, look closely. A huge wave that nearly pushes the car out to sea. The waves were strong, the They got them out of the water quickly. If it had been minutes longer, the outcome probably would have been different. Reporter: Late today, authorities reported that Wilkerson was pregnant and she had been in contact with police just hours before the incident. Her sister called 911 to warn them about Wilkerson's potential mental health issues. I tried to take her to the hospital yesterday and she signed herself out today. She's getting a little bit better, but she's still not all here. She's trying to drive and I'm trying to stop her. And she has her kids. So I took her keys. She had some crisis, but they did not meet the criteria to be able to do anything with her at that time. Reporter: A few hours later, she ended up here. She's undergoing mental evaluations. Her children are all in state custody. Safe because a few heroes took action in the nick of time. I uh hugged them and said you're going to be okay, I promise. The kids, his arms were outstretched and begging for help. That's just something, I thought about that all the way -- I went and drove all the way home last

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

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