DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A pregnant South Carolina woman who drove a minivan carrying her three young children into the ocean surf off Florida is being charged with attempted murder and aggravated child abuse.

Volusia County Sheriff Ben Johnson said Friday that 31-year-old Ebony Wilkerson is being charged with three counts of attempted first-degree murder and three counts of aggravated child abuse.

Bystanders and officers helped pull Wilkerson and her children from their minivan as it was almost submerged on Tuesday on Daytona Beach. The children are 3, 9 and 10.

The sheriff says Wilkerson has denied trying to harm her children, but her children told investigators otherwise.

Johnson says the windows were rolled up and the doors were locked. He says one of the children tried to wrestle the steering wheel away.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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