Neighbors rushed to lift a car that had pinned a toddler after the child was run over by her mother on Tuesday afternoon, authorities and witnesses said.
"I heard people screaming, so I came outside," said Elizabeth Carreon, who lives near the family in Egg Harbor Township, N.J. "I go over there, and the baby is underneath the car."
The victim is a 14-month-old girl. Carreon, another neighbor and the girl's aunt all helped lift the car so the little girl's mother could get her out from under the vehicle.
"She [the mom] was just crying, trying to make the baby cry or breathe but I hope everything is okay," Carreon said.
Police say the girl's mother, 23-year-old Christina Rodriguez, was backing out of the driveway at around 1:15 p.m. when her daughter suddenly ran into the vehicle's path.
The vehicle struck the young girl, continued in reverse and pinned the child underneath, according to investigators. Police say neighbors alerted Rodriguez who then stopped the vehicle.
The baby was airlifted to Cooper Hospital trauma center after neighbors helped lift the car. She is currently being treated for moderate injuries.
The Egg Harbor Police Department continues to investigate, but police said the incident appeared to be accidental.
In an effort to prevent such accidents, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will require rearview cameras in all new cars by May of 2018. The rule includes buses and trucks. Motorcycles and trailers are exempt.
The rearview camera requirement is part of the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act. The measure was named after a 2-year-old Long Island boy who died when his pediatrician father backed over him in their driveway in 2002.