WINTER HAVEN, Fla. - Off-duty officers and a nurse may have saved the lives of an infant and toddler injured in a terrible car crash Tuesday morning in Winter Haven.
Two month old Imani Brown suffered critical injures after getting tossed around in the back seat of the car, while still in her car seat.
Her three-year-old brother, Mekhi, was ejected from the rear window of the car.
Imani did not have a pulse when some off-duty officers arrived.
"When I got to the vehicle, the baby was basically dead," said Deputy Debra Martin with the Polk County Sheriff's Office. She was nearby and saw the accident up ahead, and pulled over to try and help.
She immediately started CPR on the infant, when out of nowhere an experienced nurse arrived.
"Before I pulled over I could see somebody bouncing and I knew what that bouncing was. I knew they were doing CPR, but I didn't realized it was on an infant," said Cheryl Kelley, who has 12 years experience in the emergency room, but now teaches her craft.
She was on her way to Southern Technical College when she saw the accident, pulled over, and got to work.
While Deputy Martin did chest compressions, Kelley provided the baby oxygen.
"I just want to know that the baby survives. That's all I want to know," she told reporters.
Together, three off-duty officers and Kelley spent about four minutes trying to resuscitate Imani.
Then came a moment of relief.
"You just hear this little gasp of air just come through the baby’s body and a little whimper," Deputy Martin explained. "I think everybody was standing around me just started cheering for joy because we knew we got her back."
The good Samaritans, at least, gave the infant a fighting chance. As of Tuesday evening, she was in critical condition.
Her brother, Mekhi, is stable. Investigators believe the car seat that he was strapped into, may have helped protect him when he was tossed out of the window and on to the road.
The kids mother, Keri Radnor, also suffered serious injures but is expected to recover.
Investigators believe Radnor turned on to Havendale Blvd. and into the path of an SUV. The three people in that car suffered minor injures.
Police said it appears the kids' car seats were not properly secured in the car.
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