LONGMONT, CO - A toddler was found wandering in the middle of rush hour traffic Monday evening and her mother was nowhere to be found, 9Wants to Know has learned.
Longmont police are cited that mom with neglect.
Melanie Fuller, who rescued the child near the 2200 block of 17th Avenue, says several cars almost hit the toddler.
Fuller sent 9NEWS a newstip describing a street full of cars in the peak of rush hour and, in the median, a 22-month-old girl, completely unaware of the danger racing by.
"This is one of the busiest streets in Longmont," Fuller said.
Fuller thought she was seeing things.
"Terrifying," she said. "It was sickening in my stomach because I thought we were going to see her die. It was unreal."
The toddler was literally inches from disaster.
"A little baby girl [was] just standing there with traffic flying around her in both directions," Fuller said.
With no time to think, Fuller slammed on the brakes as a line cars kept coming.
"I decided to jump out in front of them and figured well, if I get hit, I get hit," Fuller explained.
Fuller scooped the child in her arms and jumped to the sidewalk.
"I said 'where's your mommy?' And she pointed over towards a house," Fuller said.
Longmont Police Commander Jeffrey M. Satur says the 21-year-old mother inside the house fell asleep thinking her kids were down for a nap.
The 22-month-old woke up and walked 35 yards, about one-third the length of a football field, across the front lawn and into the street.
It was just before 5 p.m., the peak time for traffic.
"This is a pretty busy section of the street and the child could have easily been hit by a car. Fortunately for all, the child made it across without incident," Satur said.
9NEWS spoke with a man who lives at the house the mother was staying at. He says the mom is a relative who is no longer staying there.
The man says the mother is homeless and they were trying to help her get back on her feet. She was sleeping on their couch but is now with a friend.
Fuller says the young mom, showed no remorse.
"She says 'why is everybody still out here talking about this? What's the big deal?'" Fuller said.
Longmont Police charged the mom with neglect. Boulder County Housing and Human Services is investigating.
Spokesman Jim Williams says case details are confidential. Williams says in situations like this, a child can be removed or allowed to stay at home, as case workers come up with a safety plan.
All of that is kept confidential until the case is closed.
Fuller says it's a miracle the toddler survived.
"For this baby, everything is at stake," she said. "She's got a little angel sitting on her shoulder. So I'd like to see her grow up and have a long, happy life."
That toddler is staying with other family members, as Boulder Human Services continues to investigate.
If you have a newstip for 9Wants to Know investigator Will Ripley, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 303-871-1825.
(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)
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Will Ripley, KUSA