A Florida woman has been charged with four counts of attempted murder after authorities say she deliberately crashed her minivan into a tree with her children inside.
Ocala and Marion County authorities responded to the scene on SE 31st St. and found a “Pontiac minivan with severe front-end damage and multiple occupants in need of medical attention” after it had slammed into a palm tree, Ocala Fire Rescue said in a statement. The crash happened around 2:00 p.m. on Oct. 2.
Inside was a woman and her four children, who were not wearing seatbelts. Authorities said everyone in the car was taken to a hospital.
Ocala police said Calica Williams intended to kill her children in the crash, the Ocala Post reported, citing an arrest affidavit. Williams, 36, reportedly told her children, all four of whom are between six and 13 years old, to take off their seatbelts before slamming into the tree at a high speed.
WKMG reported that the Lake City woman also told her children after the crash: “The devil can’t hurt you, he only hurts bad people. You have the light of Jesus in you and only Jesus can cure us.”
The children, three girls and one boy, suffered non-life-threatening injuries. Meanwhile, Williams has been arrested and charged with four counts of attempted murder. She will be taken to Marion County Jail after being released from Ocala Regional Medical Center, the station reported.
Corie Byrd, with the Ocala Police Department, told WKMG that Williams had been talking about voodoo when first responders arrived and that she told them that her husband had put a hex on her, which caused her to crash.
“She made some utterances about a hex from her husband and that’s what made her crash, but we really don’t know the way at this point,” Byrd said, adding that the woman claimed she was “being followed by a lot of people in cars and she was trying to read all their tag numbers.”
Investigators said evidence shows that Williams did not try to slow down or brake when she veered into the medium and hit the tree.
“Based on [an investigator’s] findings, he was able to determine there were no brake marks, and based on some of the scuff marks and tire tracks in the median, you can tell she was steering directly toward the palm tree,” Byrd told the broadcaster.
No bond had been set for Williams.