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US Woman And Her Young Children to Commit Suicide

14 April 2011 17:16

Financial hardships in the United States have driven an American woman and her young children to commit suicide in the Hudson River in New York.

The twenty-five year old woman — LaShanda Armstrong — and her three young children, ages 5, 2 and 11 months, were killed Tuesday night after Armstrong drove her vehicle and the children into the river, firefighters told reporters.

La’Shaun, the 10-year-old boy, who got out of the minivan, ran to a nearby fire station and alerted firefighters, chief Michael Vatter said.

La’Shaun had apparently managed to lower the power window next to his mother and clamber over her and out of the vehicle before it sank into the water and drifted some 20 meters from shore, where investigators recovered it about an hour later.

He told firefighters his mother had driven off a boat ramp in Newburgh, about 60 miles north of New York City, and into the murky water of the river, which runs between New York and New Jersey, Vatter added.

A supervisor at the daycare center where Armstrong’s children spent time had described her as under immense stress when she arrived to pick them up on Tuesday.

The woman who faced mounting struggles in her family had her first child at 15. Three more followed, and by the age of 25, Armstrong found herself locked into life on a dodgy street in a dismal city.

Suicide rates in the US tend to rise during recessions and fall amid economic booms, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Suicides have reached a record high of 22 people per 100,000 in 1932 during the Great Depression, CDC officials said in a recent report published in the American Journal of Public Health.

That was double the rates seen in 2000, when 10 people per 100,000 took their lives as the economy prospered, the study found.

“Economic problems can impact how people feel about themselves and their futures as well as their relationships with family and friends,” Bloomberg quoted Feijun Luo, an economist in CDC’s Division of Violence Prevention and the study’s lead author as saying.

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