A group of people had just walked out of a Curtis Bay bar in South Baltimore on Wednesday night to get some fresh air when they saw a car barreling down the steep hill on Church Street.
Lifelong neighborhood resident Angie said she had just sat down outside My Way on the corner of Church Street and Curtis Avenue around 9 p.m. when all of a sudden she heard a crash. And another one. And then a few more.
“It sounded like those big fireworks you’re not supposed to have,” she said.
Angie, who declined to give her last name out of fear for her safety, said she and several others ran back into the bar, startled by the noises. But when it got quiet, they poked their head back out.
Through thick smoke, the 39-year-old said, she saw a small figure sitting in front of a mangled car that was nearly entirely crushed from the front and its windshield smashed and battered. That’s when the patrons realized it was a baby.
“It looked to be about 4 or 5 months old,” Angie said. “And it was only covered in oil from the car, there was no blood.”
Baltimore Police officials on Thursday morning confirmed the child is 7 months old and remains in critical condition at the hospital.
“The driver of the vehicle is a 27-year old woman," a police spokesperson continued. "There were a total of seven parked vehicles that were struck by the vehicle and there were no other injuries reported at the scene. Detectives from our CRASH Team are continuing to investigate this incident.” Emergency responders described the woman’s injuries as “serious.”
Patrons said it all happened quickly, but they worked together as Angie called 911 while another person helped move the baby and then someone else performed CPR. And while some focused on the child, who was taken to a hospital by ambulance, others checked the car to see whether anyone else was inside — only to find it empty.
Baltimore Firefighters Union IAFF Local 734 tweeted that a child and an adult were ejected from the car in the 1600 block.
The union said firefighters started driving the child toward the hospital and met paramedics along the way, instead of waiting at the scene.
Neighborhood residents said it’s not unusual for car crashes to happen in the area because drivers speed down the hill and lose control.
“We don’t have problems with shootings. We have problems with car crashes,” one resident said. “They just need to go ahead and close this street down.”