MIAMI (CBS4) – A little girl nearly lost her life in a violent car crash Monday night. Fifteen-month-old Juliet Rivera was thrown from her mom’s Lincoln during the crash.
Her grandfather, who doesn’t want to give his name, saw her Monday. He said that she’s doing fine, and has just a bump on her forehead which is incredible, considering investigators said it doesn’t appear that she was in a car seat.
“From what we’re being told,” said Miami Fire Rescue Spokesman Ignatius Carroll, “there was no car seat that could be found to indicate the baby was properly strapped in.”
Police said the mom’s boyfriend was driving and ran a stop sign. Horrified witnesses saw the toddler lying the middle of the road at NW 20th Street and 21 St Ave…then watched as someone scooped her up and rushed her to the hospital.
“She flew out the window,” said witness Lissamari Lara. “We couldn’t really see much because when she flew out the window; they took her right away and went to the hospital.”
Juliet was taken to the hospital by her father’s girlfriend Karina. Police say Juliet had been living with her father and his girlfriend who was considered the child’s stepmom. Karina said Juliet’s father was murdered last weekend.
Karina said shortly before the crash, Juliet’s mom Mylife Rivera pulled up in the Lincoln with her boyfriend, took Juliet and left. Karina said she followed and saw the crash, so she ran and grabbed the baby and drove her to the hospital.
Police say Mylife Rivera, who is still in the hospital, has been arrested and charged with two counts of simple battery because Juliet’s stepmom was attacked and punched several times before Rivera allegedly took off with the baby and got into the car with her boyfriend Kristofer Astorga behind the wheel.
Investigators said Astorga was driving at a high rate of speed when he ran a stop sign. He was thrown from the car and killed leaving his family heartbroken.
“It was me and him, not no more,” lamented Astorga’s brother Jonathan. “At least he’ll be with my dad right now. He passed away on Halloween, 2001. So at least they’ll be together.”
Jonathan said his brother would have done anything for his girlfriend but he didn’t know exactly what the two were doing Monday. “We all make mistakes I know I’ve made plenty of my own mistakes we all just have to deal with the consequences that come from those mistakes, and whoever’s watching, stop at a stop sign it’s as simple as that,” said Jonathan Astorga. He said he also thinks his brother might have been saved if he were wearing a seatbelt.
Juliet’s stepmother says she is not sure when the baby will be released from the hospital.
Police are still investigating the crash and have released very few other details.