Mother, 2 children hit while crosing Dale Mabry Hwy.

Image 1 of 4

A woman, a toddler and a young child were hit by a car in the middle of a busy Tampa road Wednesday night.

It happened just before 6 p.m. on South Dale Mabry Highway near Wyoming Avenue.

Tampa police say the mother is in critical condition. The children, ages 2 and 5, have non-life-threatening injuries.

They say the family was trying to cross the highway. It was dark and the driver didn't see them until it was too late.

Le'rea Wilkerson was driving on Dale Mabry when she first saw the mother and two children.

"They crossed this side to get to the median," she recalled.

Seconds later, "I saw them just laid out on the floor so I pulled in and parked," Wilkerson said.

They'd been hit by a car. The driver, trying to call 911, was in shock.

"I just took the phone and talked to them," Wilkerson said. "The lady told me step-by-step to go around and make sure everyone was still breathing if they had any obvious injuries."

Witnesses did whatever they could until help arrived.

"I stopped and saw a woman lying on the ground and there was a man cradling her head," said Corey Grundle. "There was another woman. I thought she was the mom but she was just a person who saw this little boy hurt on the side of the road, picked him up and was cradling him like it was her own child."

Tampa police say the family, crossing from east to west, was not in a crosswalk when they were hit. The mother and toddler were rushed to the hospital first. The 5-year-old boy, who stayed at the scene a little while longer, was comforted by paramedics.

"Just praying the baby will be okay, the mom will be okay, and everyone involved will be okay. Hopefully, they'll pull through and be fine," said family friend Rachel Briscoe.

The driver was visibly shaken as he told first responders what happened. Tampa police say no charges have been filed.

"This poor driver. He didn't even see them," Grundle said. "There needs to be another crosswalk."

Whether they knew the family or not, it was a sight that stopped many in their tracks, praying the entire family makes it through.

"It's not something anybody wants to hear," Briscoe said. "That's why we came right up here. South Tampa is kind of a big place but it's a small community."