OCALA, Fla. – A mother was rambling about hexes and voodoo and told her four children to take off their seat belts before she crashed into a palm tree on Wednesday, according to the Ocala Police Department.
The crash happened at about 2 p.m. on Southeast 31st Street. The Pontiac minivan Calicia Williams was driving was the only vehicle involved, authorities said.
When first responders arrived at the scene of the crash, they said Williams, 36, seemed agitated and said the crash happened because her husband put a hex on her and because she was "being followed by a lot of people in cars and she was trying to read all their tag numbers," according to the report. Officials said she also mentioned voodoo.
Corie Byrd, with the Ocala Police Department, said investigators don't know why she crashed into the tree.
"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.
Byrd said the children, three girls and one boy between the ages of 7 and 13, were told by Williams to take off their seat belts. Police said it appeared as though Williams had been wearing a seat belt based on the marks on her neck. There was no indication Williams tried to brake or slow down before hopping over the median and slamming into the palm tree, records show.
"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 said.
While on the way to a hospital, Williams' daughter told first responders that her mother told all four children to take off their seat belts and stretch their hands out forward and she said, "Lord Jesus save me," as the crash was happening, according to the report.
The children yelled for Williams to slow down but police said she refused. After the crash, Williams said: "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," records show.
Byrd said the children suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
Officials said four minors were taken to UF Health Shands Hospital in Gainesville as trauma alerts while Williams was taken to Ocala Regional Medical Center.
Pictures from the crash scene show the white vehicle's windshield was shattered and the right portion of its front end was nearly severed.
"These kids are very, very lucky to be alive," Byrd said.
Williams is facing four counts of attempted murder. Police said it's hard to understand why a mother would put her children's lives in danger.
"It makes you want to hold your kids tight, and it's unfathomable why a mother would want to do this," Byrd said.
Byrd said once Williams is released from the hospital, she will be booked into the Marion County Jail and held without bail.
"Hopefully this mother gets the help that she needs and the kids get the help that they need," Byrd said.