FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. – The mother and uncle of a 4-year-old child who fell out of a moving car Tuesday did not realize the child was gone until other children asked their mother where their sibling went, according to the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office.
The sheriff’s office said four children, ages 4 to 9, were in a three-seat row of the sedan without any seat belts or car seats when one of the children fell onto State Road 100. Jacob Santos, the children’s uncle, was driving the car, and Desiree Rodriguez, the mother, was seated in the passenger seat, officials said.
Witnesses who saw the child fall out of the car called 911 and said the car did not stop to get the child, according to deputies.
According to the sheriff’s office, Santos and Rodriguez said they were heading to South Carolina from Miami when the mother fell asleep. She woke up when the other siblings were asking where the child was, authorities said.
“The back door was open, I see this kid fall out so I got over as quick as I could and went and grabbed him and I’m sitting with him until someone gets here but nobody has come back,” a witness aid.
By the time they returned to the area the child fell out, responding deputies were at the scene with the child and witnesses. The sheriff’s office said deputies noticed “a strong smell of marijuana coming from the vehicle.”
Deputies said they found recently smoked marijuana, a bag with one gram of marijuana and a bag with Xanax.
Santos is facing charges of child neglect, driving with a suspended license and possession of marijuana under 20 grams.
Rodriguez is being charged with possession of a controlled substance and child neglect.
Watch the body camera video of the arrest below: