Winter Haven 2-year-old, thrown from car, survives crash

- Video shared by the Winter Haven Police Department Monday shows a child miraculously surviving a crash, despite being thrown from a car.

According to police, it was just after 5 p.m. Sunday when a Buick LeSabre pulled out into the path of a Ford F-150 along Highway 17.  The truck slammed into the driver’s side of the Buick, sending the sedan spinning.  In the process, a two-year-old boy was ejected through the back window.

Surveillance video from a nearby gas station showed the child fly out of the car and land on the road, then barely miss being run over by the very vehicle he was ejected from.  He was flown to St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa.

"It's a miracle that the impact on the pavement didn't do more damage to this child. That child is very, very miraculously alive today," said Jamie Brown, a Winter Haven Police Department spokesperson, adding the boy is also fortunate other drivers saw what happened and stopped. "Had those drivers not been aware of their surroundings and what was going on, it could have been really been something more tragic."

"The first thing that comes to mind is to thank the Lord that he wasn't seriously hurt or anything like that," said Mike Ellison, who lives nearby and saw the road closure following the accident. "I could see the cops having the road blocked off, so I knew something serious had took place."

The Buick’s driver, 23-year-old Arteshia Cowart of Winter Haven, was taken to Lakeland Regional Health with minor injuries, as was her three-year-old daughter who was in the back seat.

Investigators say there were two car seats and a booster seat in the backseat of the car. They are trying to figure out if the seats were properly installed and whether the children were latched in correctly.

A passenger in the pickup truck was also hospitalized with injuries to her leg.

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