A 22-year-old woman and a 4-month-old baby are recovering in the hospital after being struck on the sidewalk by a driver who didn't stop at the scene of the accident. The driver is in custody, but the passenger remains on the run.
Cleveland Police say the hit-skip accident occurred at East 118th Street and Buckeye Road early Thursday afternoon. Detectives say a car was traveling southbound on East 118th when it jumped the curb near Buckeye, pinning the victims against the wall.
"I hear this explosion and everybody screaming, and I looked out, looked out the side window and saw the car had careened into the side of the building," said Jim Jenkins, who was working at the front desk of the Buckeye Area Development Corporation when the accident occurred. "Everybody was in a state of panic and realized that the young lady and her baby had been hit."
The aftermath was horrific as citizens and emergency crews raced to help.
Erica Chambers is still shaken up after witnessing the hit-and-run, which happened just a few houses away from the victims' home.
"The truck was into the building. She was hanging over the building with her little baby," said Chambers.
Chambers was working inside a building at the intersection when the crash happened. She called 911.
"Her body, everything just dropped. It just dropped. It crushed everything," said Chambers. "The baby's leg was bloody. Everything was messed up."
Winifred Green saw the driver swerving moments before the crash.
"If he would have lost control, he might have hit my grand babies," said Green.
"They were gone that fast. The people who hit her were gone," said Chambers.
Preliminary investigation reveals two people were seen getting out of the car and fleeing the scene. Surveillance video shows they returned a short time later and assisted the victims before leaving the area again on foot prior to officers' arrival.
"It was a terrible accident. The mother and the baby -- they're lucky to be alive," said Councilman Ken Johnson.
Johnson says incidents like this can devastate a community. He's happy the video can help.
Police say one 16-year-old male has turned himself in to authorities. He is unlicensed and was driving a stolen vehicle.
Police have information on the second suspect (the passenger of the vehicle) and are working to locate the individual, who is also unlicensed. Anyone with more information is urged to call police.
Chambers says the terrifying image of what she saw will stay with her forever.
"I've never seen anything like that ever, ever," she said. "How could you leave a young girl and a baby like that. Why would you do that?"
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