A Florida woman and man kept driving his car after a 4-year-old child fell out of the vehicle, which was occupied by three other unrestrained kids and their sleeping mother, authorities said.
A witness who called 911 to report the incident said the victim fell through the rear door of the suspect’s moving vehicle as it headed west on State Road 100, according to the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office. The caller watched in disbelief as the man left the child on the road and kept driving away, authorities said.
The kid’s mother, who was on the front passenger’s seat, later told deputies that she woke up from a nap and heard her other kids asking where their sibling was, the sheriff’s office said. The car returned to the scene moments later to collect the child, who survived the fall.
When deputies searched the vehicle, they found no car seats and learned that none of the four children, ages 4 to 9, had been wearing seatbelts, authorities said. They also found about 1 gram of marijuana and a baggie of Xanax bars inside the car, according to a news release.
The man was identified as 18-year-old Jacob Santos. He was charged with child neglect, driving with a suspended license and possession of marijuana under 20 grams.
The mom, 26-year-old Desiree Rodriguez, was charged with child neglect and possession of a controlled substance.
All four children were turned over to the state Department of Children and Families.