Boy Who Survived Van Plunge to Attend Funeral

Distraught mom kills self, three children.

Wednesday, Apr 20, 2011  |  Updated 5:54 PM EDT
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Photos: Boy Escapes as Mom Drives into River

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The lone survivor of last week's Hudson River death plunge will attend the emotional funeral of his mother and three younger siblings on Thursday.

It will be an extraordinarily difficult day for La'Shaun Armstrong, 10, but he will attend the service, the boy's great-aunt, Angela Gilliam, told the Daily News.

La'Shaun will likely be surrounded by hundreds of mourners at the heart-wrenching ceremony at the First Baptist Church in Spring Valley, N.Y.

The young boy, who escaped the doomed van by climbing out a power window and swimming to shore after his mother drove into the river, returned to the scene of the tragedy just days after the April 12 plunge to say prayers for his lost loved ones.

"He asked me, 'Auntie can you bring me down to the water?'" Gilliam told NBC New York the next morning. "I let him walk out by the water and I walked away. I let him say his prayers. That was his time."

LaShanda Armstrong, 25, drowned in the Hudson along with three of her kids: Landen Pierre, 5, Lance Pierre, 2, and Laianna Pierre, 11 months.

Armstrong posted a message on her Facebook page less than an hour before she drove into the river, apologizing for what she was about to do.

"I'm so sorry everyone forgive me please for what I'm gonna do ... This is it!" she posted at 7:13 p.m. via her BlackBerry, according to MidHudsonNews.com, which obtained access to her private Facebook page.

Gilliam told NBC New York last week the 10-year-old survivor is "coming along," but fiercely misses his two brothers, little sister and mother.

Donations can be made to the church or contributions to help La'Shaun may be sent to Gilliam at 125 Lakeview Village, Spring Valley, NY 10977. 

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