Police Don't Think Foul Play When Minivan Rolls Into Pond

Thursday, July 5th 2007, 12:17 pm
By: News On 6

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) _ Investigators don't believe foul play was involved in the deaths of a woman and two children who were trapped underwater for up to 25 minutes after their minivan rolled into a pond, police said Thursday.

``All of the evidence we have at this point definitely points to it as an unfortunate, horrible accident,'' Bridgeport police Capt. Lynn Kerwin said.

Six-year-old Jayden Wilson, who is believed to be related to the driver, was the lone survivor and was in critical condition Thursday at Yale-New Haven Hospital, Kerwin said.

The minivan's driver, 39-year-old Michelle McIntosh of Bridgeport, had stopped the van to talk with friends in another car about where to set up their holiday picnic Wednesday morning at Beardsley Park, police said. After she stepped out, the van began to roll.

McIntosh chased the van and was dragged for a short distance, losing her shoes as she climbed in and tried to stop the vehicle, police said. It rolled 60 or 70 yards down a steep hill and into a pond, where it was submerged in 15 to 20 feet of water for up to 25 minutes.

McIntosh died along with her 2-year-old son, David McIntosh, and 3-year-old Julia Boyd.

``I'm numb,'' McIntosh's husband, David, told The Associated Press on Thursday. ``It's like I'm still waiting for them to come back.''

Mechanics were evaluating the van Thursday to determine whether it was in gear, whether the emergency brake was activated and other factors, police said.

The Bridgeport police scuba team pulled the victims out and rescuers tried to revive them before they were taken to hospitals.

``It's a real tragedy for a family in Bridgeport,'' Mayor John Fabrizi said. ``A day of sorrow for all Bridgeporters.''

Fire Battalion Chief Ismael Pomales said people nearby tried unsuccessfully to stop the van, and that fire personnel were not able to reach those trapped inside.

``It's horrible,'' Pomales said. ``We've had children die before. That's probably one of the toughest things for any rescue person to deal with.''

Blanch Arpie, a neighbor, called the McIntoshes a close-knit family.

``It's breaking my heart,'' Arpie said. It's just horrible.''