Updated 04/12/2012 06:50 PM
Somber memorial for Newburgh waterfront tragedy
Thursday marked a somber anniversary in the City of Newburgh. Last year, LaShanda Armstrong drove into the Hudson River with her children inside the car. Our Elaina Athans has more on a memorial.
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NEWBURGH, N.Y. -- It's been one year since the Newburgh waterfront tragedy and it's clear the pain has not diminished with time for one family. Holding each other and holding back tears, loved ones gather at the spot LaShanda Armstrong drove into the Hudson River, killing herself and her three children.
A teddy, roses and a wreathe were placed into the water. Bundles of balloons were released into the sky. A cross was embedded into the ground. All of these things were done by a grieving family.
In April 2011, Armstrong plunged her minivan into the river with her four children inside. Armstrong and the three youngest kids all drowned. The oldest one was able to get out of the submerged vehicle.
"The kids were loving," said Armstrong's neighbor Jay Bunch.
Bunch also came to the waterfront to pay his respects and says he thinks often about the victims.
"I feel really bad," said Bunch. "I just thank God somebody survived because they said when they pulled out the car, that the car was in reverse. I guess she changed her mind at the last minute. It was too late."
As the somber anniversary touches many lives, perhaps the person with the most strong is among the youngest. A boy, who's now 11-years-old, is the sole survivor of the tragedy.
He returned to where the horror happened and was the one who helped place a cross in the ground bearing his mother and siblings' names.