BAYONET POINT, Fla. - A child was ejected during a car crash after a New Port Richey woman ran a red light, troopers said. They said the 5-year-old was not wearing a seatbelt.
The collision occurred Thursday at the intersection of Hudson Avenue and Little Road. Florida Highway Patrol troopers said 25-year-old Natali Howe was traveling in a Jeep Grand Cherokee, heading southbound on Little Road. As she approached Hudson Avenue, they said she ran a red traffic light.
Howe's vehicle entered the intersection, striking another vehicle, a Kia Optima, before overturning. The driver of the Kia Optima was taken to Morton Plant North Bay Hospital with unknown injuries.
Troopers said Howe was traveling with four children as her passengers. Officials did not specify the relationship between Howe and the young passengers. The child who was ejected was sitting in the rear middle seat. He was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital and was listed as "trauma alert."
The three other children – a 9-month old boy, one-year-old girl and 8-year-old boy – were also taken to the hospital. The oldest child was sitting in the front passenger seat where the airbag deployed. He was also not wearing a seat belt, troopers said. Information on the children's conditions were not immediately available.
When a trooper asked Howe why the two children were not properly restrained, she stated she didn't know, according to Howe's arrest report, and she didn't remember how the crash occurred.
According to a traffic report for the incident, it didn't appear she was impaired while driving, therefore no drug or alcohol tests were given. Investigators said she was not distracted and her vision was not obscured.
She was arrested on child neglect charges.