Updated 04/26/2011 06:04 AM
Tensions run high as three Newburgh children laid to rest
The three young children who died two weeks ago when their mother drove their minivan into the Hudson River were laid to rest in Rockland County on Monday. It was a very emotional day for both sides of the family. YNN's Elaina Athans has the story.
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SPRING VALLEY, N.Y. -- It was a very emotional day in Spring Valley Monday as the three children who died when their mother drove their minivan into the Hudson River were laid to rest.
About 60 people attended the funeral service. It was a small service, but one filled with a great deal of tension.
"It's sad just looking at them, knowing that they're just gone, they're not here anymore," said Gwendolen Green, a cousin of the children's mother, LaShanda Armstrong.
Two families came together to mourn the loss of the three Pierre children. A funeral service was held for Landen, 5, Lance, 2, and Laianna, who would have turned a year old last week.
"I looked at the children," Green said. "They looked beautiful."
But emotions might have gotten the best of the small crowd in attendance.
"I don't care. This side of the family matters," shouted Green outside the service.
A verbal altercation broke out at the service. A family member of LaShanda Armstrong was kicked out and said her son wasn't allowed to go inside and pay his respects. The children's father, Jean Pierre, organized the funeral.
"It's not just about Pierre's side of the family. They have another family," said Green.
"It hasn't hit him yet," said Melissa Pierre, the half-sister of Jean Pierre.
She said the family just wanted to keep the service intimate.
"It was very shocking for him, and he hasn't had time to grieve. So he wants to do it alone, with close people," said Pierre.
The only survivor of the tragedy, 10-year-old La'Shaun Armstrong, was not at the funeral. He's being cared for by the Armstrong family who felt it was best for him not to attend.