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

Bystanders and beach rescue officers helped pull 32-year-old Ebony Wilkerson and her children from their minivan as it was almost submerged on Tuesday along Daytona Beach.

The children are 3, 9 and 10.

Volusia County Sheriff Ben Johnson says Wilkerson has denied trying to harm her children, but they told investigators otherwise.

Johnson says the windows were rolled up and the doors were locked. 

The sheriff says one of the children tried to wrestle the steering wheel away.