A Texas woman was cited after her 1-year-old boy tumbled out of her SUV into a busy intersection (video below).
Jocelyn Nicole Hernandez, 26, was ticketed by Laredo police after her toddler fell out of the vehicle, car seat and all, when she turned a corner in the family SUV, reports KSAT. The entire incident was captured on dash cam by another driver.
Traffic briefly blocks the view from the dash cam at the moment the boy falls out, but it's clearly visible just a split second later that the boy and his car seat had fallen out of the vehicle as his mother made a right turn. A passing motorist quickly stopped and got out of the car to scoop up the boy, who had run into the stranger's arms.
Claudia Alanis, whose camera captured the incident, said she was driving back to work after her lunch break and saw the situation unfold.
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"When we started pulling forward, we got to a red light and there were some cars passing by -- the second vehicle in the video shows the door opening as soon as they're making a small turn, and mid turn the door flew open," Alanis told KSAT. "The kid fell out along with his car seat a few steps away from him and (drivers in the area) noticed right away that the baby had fallen out."
Drivers stopped traffic and honked their horns to alert other motorists of what had happened.
"[The baby] just ran into the stranger's arms," Alanis said. "The woman on the passenger's side, I believe is the mom, got [out] of the vehicle crying and ran toward the baby."
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A state trooper witnessed the incident and went over to assist. The case remains under investigation.
Car accidents are the leading cause of death for all children over the age of 3, according to CBS News. Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that car seats and other safety seats cut the risk of death by 71 percent for infant passengers and 54 percent for toddlers ages 1 through 4.
A study from the American Journal of Preventative Medicine found parents are less likely to faithfully follow car seat guidelines as their children get older, reports CBS News. Fewer than 2 percent of children over the age of 7 used a booster seat, as recommended in the safety guidelines.
The study also found that parents who did not wear a seatbelt while driving were also 23 times more likely to have improperly restrained their child.