'The devil can't hurt you': Mom tries to kill kids by driving into tree, police say

Columbia County woman faces 4 counts of attempted murder

By Corley Peel - Reporter, Adrienne Cutway - Web Editor

A Lake City woman was rambling about spells and voodoo after she told her four children to take off their seat belts before she crashed into a palm tree on Wednesday, according to the Ocala Police Department.

The crash happened about 2 p.m. Wednesday on Southeast 31st Street. The Pontiac minivan Calicia Williams was driving was the only vehicle involved, police said.

Williams, 36, is facing four counts of attempted murder.

When first responders arrived at the scene of the crash, they said Williams seemed agitated and said the crash happened because her husband put a hex on her and because she was "being followed by a lot of people in cars and she was trying to read all their tag numbers," according to an arrest affidavit. Police also noted in the affidavit that Williams "kept rambling on about spells and voodoo."

Police said Williams' four children were not wearing their seat belts, but it appeared as though Williams had been based on the marks on her neck. There was no indication Williams tried to brake or slow down before hopping over the median and slamming into the palm tree, police said. 

While on the way to a hospital, Williams' daughter told first responders that her mother told all four children to take off their seat belts, stretch their hands out forward and she said, "Lord Jesus save me," as the crash was happening, according to the Police Department.

The children, ages 7 to 13, yelled for Williams to slow down, but police said she refused. After the crash, according to the Police Department, Williams said, "The devil can't hurt you; he only hurts bad people. You have the light of Jesus in you and only Jesus can cure us." Williams also spontaneously uttered that she had marijuana in her system, the affidavit shows.

Photos from the crash scene show the white vehicle's windshield was shattered and the right portion of its front end was nearly severed.

The affidavit shows the children were taken to UF Health Shands Hospital in Gainesville. Ocala Fire-Rescue said the driver was taken to Ocala Regional Medical Center.

As of Thursday, the children were in stable condition, police said.

At Williams' home in Columbia County on Thursday, a family member declined to comment. But friends and neighbors told News4Jax they were in disbelief.

"I was in complete shock of how this could ever happen," said Julie Rogers, a friend of Williams. "She is one of the nicest people I have ever met. She works really hard and she takes very good care of her kids."

Rogers said she just saw Williams Friday.

"They were at the skating rink, having a good time, so nothing odd like that to that would make you lead to believe that something like this could possibly happen," she said.

A neighbor told News4Jax that the family always appeared to be happy. 

"They seemed like good people. They're always outside, playing with their dogs outside and stuff like that. That's why I was, like, 'It's crazy.' You never know what's going on outside people's households," Xavier White said. "I hope that maybe it isn't what it seems like."

Neighbors said they will be praying for the family and Rogers said she hopes the family can overcome the tragedy.

"We've been praying for them," Rogers said. "We just hope the best for the kids and that everything turns out well for them."

Williams was absentee booked into the Marion County jail around 1:30 p.m. Friday. The Police Department said a request has been made that Williams be held without bond. 

 

WKMG-TV in Orlando contributed to this report.

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