A minor fender-bender in Allapattah morphed into a twisted tale after an infant was found in a baby seat on the roadside and police tweeted that the child’s mother — found incoherent beside the child — might be on heroin.
Inside the vehicle and slumped over the wheel was an unidentified man, who Miami Fire Rescue says was unconscious. The unharmed 2-month-old child was taken to a nearby fire station to cool off.
“We found the mother on the grass five feet from the car with the baby in a car seat next to mom,” said Miami Fire Rescue Capt. Ignatius Carroll. “We don’t know if it was drugs.”
Carroll said the infant’s father showed up at Fire Station 5 at Northwest 12th Avenue and 20th Street several hours after Monday’s crash. Still, the baby will remain under the care of the Florida Department of Children & Families until a Wednesday morning custody hearing.
Police had initially said the child was found inside the car with the parents passed out. Miami Fire Rescue, the first responder at the car crash, said the infant was found on the roadside, its mom nearby semi-conscious and incoherent.
WPLG-Channel 10 reported that the child’s mother — whose name had not yet been released on Tuesday — has a history of heroin use and that she and the man behind the wheel of the car were given Narcan before being taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital. Narcan is a nasal spray administered to help overcome opioid overdoses.
Still, the incident might not have gained traction with the public if not for a tweet by Miami police three hours after the car crash — and an eerily similar episode over the weekend in Ohio that caused a social media stir.
On Sunday, East Liverpool police posted controversial photos on its Facebook page of a woman and a man passed out in the front seat of a car with their 4-year-old child in a baby seat in the back, seemingly oblivious to what had happened. Police said the couple overdosed on heroin and the picture was shared to shed light on the heroin epidemic in Ohio.
In Miami on Monday, it was just after 4 p.m. when police tweeted, “@MiamiPD responded to accident at NW 12th Av and 20th St. 2 month old baby found w/parents unconscious, poss. OD on heroin.”
Along with the tweet was a picture of the infant. That was later taken down and replaced with a photo of a police officer feeding the child milk from a bottle.
The tweet from Miami police came three hours after Miami Fire Rescue responded to a minor fender-bender near the corner of Northwest 12th Avenue and 20th Street. The driver of one of the cars involved had already left the scene, Carroll said.
Asked about the state of the mother and the man in the car, Miami police spokesman Freddie Cruz said, “It could be drugs; it could be food poisoning. We don’t know.”