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S. Fla. Mother Gets 1 Year For Crash That Threw Child

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A Florida Highway Patrol officer surveyed the damage to the car that Jacob Mentor was in.

A Florida Highway Patrol officer surveyed the damage to the car that Jacob Mentor was in.

POMPANO BEACH(CBS4) – The South Florida mother whose toddler was ejected from her vehicle and sent over an 18-foot wall during a car crash has been sentenced to a year in jail.

A Broward County judge accepted a plea deal Thursday for 29-year-old Roseline Jean-Baptiste of North Miami Beach. The woman pleaded guilty to two counts of child neglect and two counts of culpable negligence and not having a valid license.

Authorities said Jean-Baptiste didn’t have her one-year-old son, Jacob Mentor, or her daughter in safety seats in May when she crashed into the wall running along Interstate 95 in Pompano Beach. Mentor was thrown over the wall but did not sustain any serious injury. Her daughter, three-year-old Shaniece, was not ejected from the car.

Jean-Baptiste swerved to avoid a tire and ended up steering onto the grassy shoulder off the highway. The car rolled several times before stopping at a concrete sound barrier, according to the Sun Sentinel.

Her attorney, Mark Lowry, said her being “away from her kids would have been victimizing the kids again. … The kids are very well taken care of and she just made a terrible mistake that day,” according to the Sun Sentinel.

Jean-Baptiste will receive credit for more than seven months she’s already spent in jail and will have to serve five years on probation.

Meanwhile, the state filed separate action against her questioning whether she is a fit parent. Lowry said she will appear in family court to prove to a judge she can care for her children, who are now staying with her sister. The judge expects her to have to take a parenting class, according to the Sun Sentinel.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press and Sun Sentinel contributed to this report.)

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