Twenty-five-year-old Lashanda Armstrong, mother of four, was doing her best to get by before personal troubles led her to drive her minivan into the Hudson River, killing her three youngest children and leaving only her 10-year-old son, Lashaun, alive. She had a job at a garment factory and got good grades at Orange County Community College, according to relatives. Her kids were well-dressed and well-behaved. But the father of the three that died, Jean Pierre, only caused trouble in her life, friends say. The 26-year-old was negligent in his child-support payments and was once arrested for child endangerment after abandoning their 2-year-old barefoot and shirtless on the street in the dead of winter. Armstrong got a restraining order against Pierre shortly before the horrific incident, according to the Post, but it was too late to salvage her mental state. She wrote, "I'm sorry everyone forgive me please for what I'm gonna do," on her Facebook page just 30 minutes before her death. "This is it!!!"
Lashaun, meanwhile, hasn't been talking much since his harrowing escape. But he insisted that relatives take him back to the place on the Hudson where his entire family drowned. "He said, 'Auntie, take me to the water,'" his aunt Angie Gilliam told the Daily News. When he got there, "he just looked." Said Gilliam: "I gave him his time and he did what he needed to do. He did a big thing there to get out."