Authorities in Connecticut say a 54-year-old woman intentionally drove into a river last July to end her life and the life of her special needs son. Police in Seymour, Connecticut ruled their deaths a “homicide-suicide” in a press release shared on Friday. 

According to the Monroe Sun, Connie Crowell and her 22-year-old son passed away after Crowell drove her SUV into the Housatonic River last summer. The ruling came after police investigation found Crowell turned away a nearby boater who tried to help her following the crash.

“On the day of the incident, a boater who was in the area, observed the vehicle go into the water and went to assist and provide rescue efforts,” Seymour Deputy Police Chief Roberto N. Rinaldi shared. “However, Connie Crowell refused to acknowledge or accept the boater’s assistance and rescue efforts.”/

“The boater made numerous attempts to rescue the occupants of the vehicle,” Rinaldi added.

According to reports of the crash at the time, the SUV overturned and floated upside-down after falling into the river. Witnesses who saw the car heading downriver called the police. The SUV sank down into 16 to 20 feet of water as firefighters and divers attempted to rescue the mother and son from the vehicle. 

Crowell was incredibly active in the community, particularly when her son Jack was attending the local high school. 

“She volunteered her time, pretty much my whole time at Masuk [High School],” former principal Joseph Kobza said. “If it wasn’t on [Alcohol and Drug Awareness of Monroe], it was the Parents Council. She was one of the driving forces in coordinating our forum on underage drinking.”