Arteshia Cowart, a 23-year-old resident of Winter Haven, Fla., was sitting at a stop sign at around 5 p.m waiting to turn. Her 2-year-old and 3-year-old were sitting in the backseat, police say.
A video shows her waiting there for about half a minute, then pulling into the road – and right into the path of a fast-moving Ford F-150 truck.
The truck can be seen slamming into the passenger door of Cowart’s car, causing her Buick to whip around. As the car spins, her 2-year-old boy is flung out the back window and onto the hard pavement.
Cowart’s car then rolls backward and comes only a few feet away from rolling over the boy on the ground.
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Cowart, her 3-year-old and a passenger in the F-150 were treated at a nearby hospital, but the toddler was airlifted to St. Joseph’s hospital in Tampa. The driver of the truck, 48 year-old Bryan Whiddon, was not hurt, police say.
Police call it “miraculous” that the boy is expected to completely recover.
“It’s a miracle that the impact on the pavement didn’t do more damage to this child. That child is very, very miraculously alive today,” Jamie Brown, a Winter Haven Police Department spokesperson, told Fox 13. “Had those drivers not been aware of their surroundings and what was going on, it could have been really been something more tragic.”
Brown told The Ledger the boy was placed on a ventilator as a precaution, but it quickly became unnecessary. “It’s a true miracle,” Brown told the paper.
Police say there were two car seats and a booster seat in the back of Cowart’s car, and they are working to determine whether the children were secured correctly.
Police are still investigating and say neither speeding nor any sort of impairment seems to have caused the crash.