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Fla. Mother Kills Herself, Daughter

July 16, 2002

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MIAMI (AP) _ A mother intentionally drove her sports utility vehicle into Biscayne Bay with her two children on board, killing herself and her 5-year-old daughter, police said.

Her infant son was in extremely critical condition after the Monday incident.

Police said Ruthmae Bethel, 22, had stopped her Isuzu Trooper on the northwest corner of Watson Island for about 20 minutes. She then suddenly accelerated, driving about 50 feet along a seawall before her vehicle fell into the bay and sank in 10 feet of water.

City rescue divers pulled Bethel, her daughter, Nadia Dorvil, and her 2-month-old son, Reggie Thomas, from the vehicle. All were in cardiac arrest, and Bethel and her daughter were pronounced dead at Jackson Memorial Hospital.

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