WARNING — DISTRESSING CONTENT: A mother who has been charged with attempted murder after allegedly stabbing her young sons on an Adelaide motorway had been struggling with her mental health for years, her sister has revealed.
Megan Somerville, 35, allegedly stabbed her sons, aged 8 and 3, several times on the side of the North-South Motorway in Winfield late on Monday night after stopping her car, police say.
Her sister Jessica Somerville said in a social media post Megan "had been battling mental health... for the past eight years", The Advertiser reported.
“We are still learning how things got to this point and need time to understand what happened that led to this," she said.
Four years earlier, South Australia Police sought assistance to locate Megan Somerville after she disappeared while "heavily pregnant" in 2018. Police said there were concerns for her welfare due to "a medical condition".
Members of the public intervened on Monday, with one man reportedly disarming and restraining Somerville.
One witness told 7News his actions were "incredible".
Their comments echoed those of Superintendent Selena Dinning, who said the intervention had prevented a "much worse" scenario.
The two children were rushed to the Women’s & Children’s Hospital where they remain in a stable condition after undergoing surgery.
The witness told 7News they encountered "a lot of blood" at the scene, with bystanders using jumpers to stem the flow of blood from the children.
One witness said they heard Somerville yell “Mummy loves you” as she was detained by police.
Somerville was taken to Royal Adelaide Hospital where she underwent a medical assessment.
She later faced a bedside court hearing charged with two counts of attempted murder.
Court documents showed she was remanded in custody to appear again in December though her lawyers were granted leave to call on an earlier bail hearing.
Investigations into the incident are ongoing, with police trying to piece together what triggered the alleged attack.
Superintendent Dinning said the incident occurred close to the family home, a property a neighbour told The Advertiser police had visited a day before the alleged stabbing.
Previous dealings between the family and police and child protection services will be investigated, and form part of the material put before the court.
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