GPD: Woman attempts to kill self and children by ramming tanker truck

Published: Aug. 17, 2019 at 8:13 AM EDT
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Gainesville Police have arrested 48-year-old Melissa Mack, saying she attempted to kill herself and her children by ramming a tanker truck on Friday, August 16.

In her arrest report, police say Mack was driving on US-441/NW 13th Street in the City of Gainesville with her two children in the van with her.

They say, just north of the intersection with NW 53rd Avenue, she started driving northbound in the southbound lane, and attempted to ram a tanker truck head-on. The truck was hauling around 330 gallons of gasoline.

The truck driver swerved, causing Mack's van to miss. However, police say she turned around and rammed the back end of the truck. Her van's airbags deployed and the van's engine caught fire, trapping Mack and her two children inside The tanker truck was not badly damaged.

The truck driver and several other bystanders helped put out the fire and get Mack and the children out of the van before anything more serious happened.

In the course of investigating the incident, police spoke with a friend of Mack's, who said that earlier in the day she had talked about getting into an accident to kill herself and her two sons, saying it was "God's will". The report states that the children are autistic.

The children were taken to UF Health Shands Hospital and then released in the Department of Children and Families' custody, they were not injured in the crash.

Mack is charged with 3 counts of attempted homicide, 1 count for each of her children and 1 for the driver of the truck. She is being held at the Alachua County Jail with no bond listed.