AVENTURA, Fla. – Bystanders rescued a 4-year-old girl after her older brother started the family car and it rolled into a canal behind their apartment.
The girl's mother, Tatiana Columbus, had been strapping the little girl into a car seat Tuesday when her 13-year-old son turned the ignition and the car lunged forward. Columbus and the boy were able to free themselves, but the girl was trapped inside.
The car was submerged by the time bystanders were able to break the back window and rescue the girl. She was treated at Jackson North Medical Center for minor injuries and released.
"I'm very lucky," Columbus said, "and I thank God because I think it was him and all these good people that live here."
Miami-Dade County fire rescue Lt. Eddy Ballester said the little girl would died if they hadn't reached her.
Columbus was cited for leaving children unattended or unsupervised in a motor vehicle.