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More details on SUV-stroller collision

Update: 5:25 p.m.

Montgomery County police say the driver of the SUV, a 53-year-old Silver Spring woman, was driving under “a steady green traffic signal” when a woman pushing a stroller crossed in front of her. The driver’s Ford Explorer struck the stroller. She immediately stopped and remained at the scene.

Police identified the woman pushing the stroller as a 36-year-old resident of Sinking Spring, Pa. Her 16-month-old daughter was injured, and late this afternoon was listed in “serious but stable condition” at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington.

Police identified the off-duty nurse who came to Sylra’s help as Wendy Mejia.

Detectives ask anyone who witnessed the accident to call 240-773-5500.

Original post:

A 16-month-old girl whose stroller was struck by an SUV Friday morning is improving at a local hospital, police said this afternoon. Officials expect her to survive.

The baby’s mother was pushing the stroller across Georgia Avenue at Aspen Hill Road at 10:22 a.m., according to police. Witnesses say she appeared to be in the crosswalk. A 1998 green Ford Explorer, driven by a 53-year-old Silver Spring woman, hit the stroller. The driver stayed at the scene, and police said she was cooperating with crash investigators. Witnesses said the driver appeared to have a green light as she crossed Aspen Hill, police said.

Cars stopped all around the child. A passerby, believed by police to be a nurse, rushed to the child’s aid and started chest compressions, officials said.

Johnston.jpgMontgomery County Police Officer Brendon Johnston (pictured at left), a veteran of slightly more than 10 years, was the first officer on the scene. The passerby looked at him.

“She’s not breathing, and I don’t have a pulse,” the woman said, Johnston recalled in an interview Friday afternoon.

Johnston took over chest compressions, using his fingertips, and noted that the baby was bleeding from her nose. The two eventually picked up a faint pulse. The baby started gasping, Johnston said.

Within minutes, medics arrived. They soon were taking the baby to a hospital. Johnston headed there in his cruiser, thinking about his own family, he said. After he arrived, a doctor told him the baby was crying, which Johnston took as a good sign.

“I’m glad the child is alive. I’m ecstatic,” Johnston said.

The child’s mother was not hit by the SUV, but was injured in the accident. Her injuries are not life-threatening.

-- Dan Morse

By Washington Post editors  | October 8, 2010; 5:25 PM ET
Categories:  David P. Marino-Nachison, Montgomery  
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Comments

This is extremely good news!

Posted by: mbrumble | October 8, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

"The two eventually picked up a feint pulse."

***

I hope it was a "faint pulse"...

Posted by: DecafDrinker | October 8, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

"After arriving, a doctor him the baby was crying, which he took as a good sign."
(Check spelling and grammar please)

Posted by: bronxace | October 8, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

DecafDrinker and bronxace --

Thanks for the close reading. I fixed the spelling and grammar. Sorry for sloppiness.

-- Dan Morse

Posted by: Dan Morse | October 8, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Good news indeed! The driver stayed at the scene - a good samaritan and Officer Johnston saved the baby's life - it's so rare to hear of a good outcome from an accident like this. I hope the baby makes a full recovery.

Posted by: bookworm8 | October 8, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Good news indeed! The driver stayed at the scene - a good samaritan and Officer Johnston saved the baby's life - it's so rare to hear of a good outcome from an accident like this. I hope the baby makes a full recovery.

Posted by: bookworm8 | October 8, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

I am really glad that the baby appears to be going to recover, however, it would be interesting to know whether the mother pushing the stroller was on a cell phone at the time. I drive in DC from necessity and one of the things which I have noticed is that pedestrians are constantly on their phones and pay no attention to what is going on around them, particularly when they are crossing the street. Where I live I have almost hit children darting out who were with parents paying no attention because they were involved in phone conversations and, even when they noticed the situation, continued the phone call.

Posted by: dancingtime | October 8, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

If the mother was crossing against the light, shouldn't she be charged with negligence?! Why is there nothing here regarding HER responsibility for this "accident"? You *know* this is going to haunt Ms. Hughes for the rest of her life...and she didn't do anything wrong!

Posted by: WilyArmadilla | October 8, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

The pictures from the accident scene do not show a green Ford Explorer, but a green Toyota Sienna Minivan. Are these the right pictures or did they get the vehicle description wrong?

Posted by: jbest05@yahoo.com | October 8, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Another SUV-related tragedy. SUVs have so many blind spots, it is harder to see and avoid potential accidents, even when they are not the SUV driver's fault. It is harder to drive defensively.

I don't know why you need an SUV in DC anyway.

Posted by: Bitter_Bill | October 8, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

"If the mother was crossing against the light, shouldn't she be charged with negligence?! Why is there nothing here regarding HER responsibility for this "accident"? You *know* this is going to haunt Ms. Hughes for the rest of her life...and she didn't do anything wrong!"

Absolutely correct. I have seen many close calls in downtown Bethesda where pedestrians don't seem to care about their safety and walk across the street illegally, against "don't walk" signs, in the middle of the block, in front of moving cars, etc.

The mother of the child should be charged.

Posted by: MrBethesda | October 8, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Rules can be negotiated, but laws should not be broken. A heavy penalty for ignorance on the part of the mother...I hope the child fully recovers from injuries. As for her mother, she should be charged and must pay the deductible to get that women's car repaired and countless hours of therapy for the trauma that she endured because of a%&holes who think that they can cross against the light in traffic. Geesh!

Posted by: whatsreallygoingon | October 8, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

so happy the baby is okay! i was so worried about her earlier today.

Posted by: missing_nawlins | October 8, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Good job, Officer Johnson and the passerby who started the chess compressions!!!!!

Posted by: slydell | October 8, 2010 10:45 PM | Report abuse

That is a big intersection to cross at least six lane road, sometime if you are slow crossing the road the light turns green even when you have started crossing the road while light was red. I think the driver also need to watch and give pedestrians chance to cross if they are in the middle already even if the light has turned green, but i guess driver themselves are pretty occupied on the phone themselves these days. But coutny need to time the pedestrian crossing for more appropriate time span for slower pedestrians.

Posted by: Jim110 | October 8, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

That is a big intersection to cross at least six lane road, sometime if you are slow crossing the road the light turns green even when you have started crossing the road while light was red. I think the driver also need to watch and give pedestrians chance to cross if they are in the middle already even if the light has turned green, but i guess driver themselves are pretty occupied on the phone themselves these days. But coutny need to time the pedestrian crossing for more appropriate time span for slower pedestrians.

Posted by: Jim110 | October 8, 2010 10:53 PM | Report abuse

The article quotes police as saying the driver was driving under a "steady green traffic signal," which suggests that the light hadn't just changed.

I drive a sedan where both the side mirror/car frame and the slope of the back windows can make it difficult to get clear views simultaneously in all directions. And am so amazed (and, more, frightened) by the number of folks that will, for example, just walk behind a car already backing out of a parking space and just assume the driver will manage to see them. Have a 13 YO and keep showing her all the ways a driver cannot SEE her. That combined with the seeming belief of some pedestrians that a car will stop no matter what can be deadly.

Hard to believe, though, that a mom would so assume with a baby and fast-moving traffic. Sometimes folks just zone out.

Posted by: BookP | October 8, 2010 11:16 PM | Report abuse

The mother is an idiot and should be charged with reckless endangerment.

Posted by: chunche | October 9, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

It is a shame what happened to this little girl due to her mother's negligence. Road safety is very important to drivers and pedestrians alike. I have to agree with many of the poster's comments that the mother should be charged. If the driver was at fault, she would have been charged!!! These people will never learn until they start seeing that they will be charged and given a citation should they fail to follow the laws of the road.

I hit a woman at night 11 years ago. She crossed in the middle of the block on Aspen Hill Rd. and I had my 10 year old son with me. He has never forgot it and I too live with that memory every day. The woman survived and tried to sue me. It was determined in court that she was negligent and that I was not guilty of any wrong doing.

Mr. Morse, you are a good reporter. It would be nice to see a story on why the police seem to always charge a driver when they are at fault but not the pedestrians when they are at fault. Just a thought!

Posted by: legal_citizen | October 9, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Morse, you have all my respect!! Please continue to do a great job!!

God bless you.

Posted by: wonder4real | October 9, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

This is such encouraging news for the little girl. I imagine the driver is relieved too. I hope that the mother recovers, and is a LOT more careful with where, when and how she crosses the road. Being in the crosswalk is good, but you're supposed to wait until you get the go-ahead, too.

Posted by: Skowronek | October 13, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

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