Three dead, one critical after van rolls into pond

Three people, including two children, are dead and one child is in critical condition after a van they were in rolled into a pond at Beardsley Park Wednesday morning.

Police say the woman who died, identified by the chief medical examiner's office as Michelle McIntosh of Bridgeport, was the driver of the minivan and the mother of at least one of the three children. All of the children were reportedly under 7 years old. One of the children who died was identified as David McIntosh.

The van and its passengers were submerged for about 20 to 25 minutes, Fire Battalion Chief Ismael Pomales said.

The incident occurred just after 10:30 a.m. after the driver apparently got out of the vehicle to ask for directions at a nearby concession stand, Pomales said. The van began to roll down a hill toward the pond, which was 60 or 70 yards away. Upon noticing it was rolling away, the driver jumped back in the van before it went into the water, Police Chief Bryan Norwood said.

A spokesman for Bridgeport Hospital confirmed that the third child, a 6-year-old boy, is in critical condition and was transferred to Yale-New Haven Hospital. Hospital and fire officials say Michelle McIntosh died at St. Vincent's Medical Center.

Bystanders tried to stop the van, but were unsuccessful. Fire personnel were unable to reach the people inside the vehicle.

The Bridgeport Police Department's scuba team arrived a few minutes after the incident and removed the children and the driver from the van, which was submerged in 15 to 20 feet of water near the Beardsley Zoo.

Autopsies are planned for Thursday, according to the medical examiner's office.

AP wire reports contributed to this story.

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