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Monday
Apr252011

Three Children Killed in Hudson River Plunge Are Buried as Families Feud

George Doyle/Thinkstock(SPRING VALLEY, N.Y.) -- The three youngest children of LaShanda Armstrong, the New York woman who drove a minivan into the Hudson River with herself and her four children inside, were laid to rest Monday as emotions boiled over between her relatives and their father's family.

Police helped funeral staff keep the families separated as mourners attended Monday's service in Spring Valley, N.Y., for Landen Pierre, 5; Lance Pierre, 2; and Lainaina Pierre, nearly 1. The boys were dressed in dark suits; Lainaina was dressed in white.

The three were killed when Armstrong, 25, drove her minivan off a boat ramp April 12 in Newburgh, N.Y., minutes after arguing with her boyfriend and their father, Jean Pierre. La'Shaun Armstrong, 10, the eldest of Armstrong's children and a son from a previous relationship, survived by escaping through a window.

A joint service for Armstrong and the three children had been planned, but last week Pierre said he would hold a separate service for the children. They were not buried in the same cemetery as Armstrong, relatives told WABC-TV Monday.

One family member said Armstrong's relatives were angry about that decision. "We're all still dealing with everything and coping with it," the relative said.

At Monday's service, the Armstrongs were forced to wait outside. They stood on one side of the lawn in front of the Alphonso E. Brown Funeral Home as Pierre and his family and friends were escorted into the building. Armstrong's mother was allowed to view the children, but then returned outside to be with family.

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