The Fort Thomas Police Department in Kentucky has released a disturbing surveillance video of a 7-month-old baby being ejected from a vehicle during a heroin-related crash on Interstate 275, according to KTLA.
On February 22 of this year, 48-year-old Michael Gilliam was traveling eastbound on I-275, near the Ohio border, when he suddenly veered off the road, crossing three lanes before the vehicle flipped multiple times, ejecting two passengers, including a 7-month-old baby boy.
An unnamed man, who witnessed the tragedy, told police officials that he initially thought it was debris flying out of the vehicle, but when he pulled over to help the car crash victims, he realized that it was a baby that had been ejected in the crash.
— Local 12/WKRC-TV (@Local12) August 19, 2016
According to Lt. Rich Whitford, who is with the Fort Thomas Police Department, he stated that “the baby came out and landed on the rocks, so the gentleman picked it up, and he couldn’t believe, number one he said: that the baby was alive and that he was physically and mentally distraught after seeing that occur right in front of him.”
When emergency responders arrived at the scene, the driver of the vehicle was found dead while the ejected passengers — a baby boy and his mother, Amanda Thomas, 34 — were critically injured.
A car seat was found inside of the vehicle, but Whitford stated that he is unaware if the baby had been strapped in before being ejected from the vehicle.
Needles were also found inside of the car, and “track marks were discovered on one of the car crash victims,” leading investigators to believe that it was a drug-related crash.
Another passenger, 42-year-old Billy Lee Jones — who is the child’s father — was found in the car, but he was not seriously injured.
The mother and her son were transported to a local hospital for treatment.
An autopsy report on the driver indicated that he was high on heroin at the time of the crash.
Six months after the fatal crash, Fort Thomas police uncovered that the parents were also high on heroin at the time of the crash.
The parents’ blood work results didn’t come back until recently, which is “why it took so long to file charges.”
On Thursday, a “grand jury indicted Thomas and Jones,” according to Fox 19.
Whitford said, “The parents have been charged with second-degree criminal abuse. They’ve put a serious physical risk to a child, their child, under 12 years old and they allowed someone to operate a vehicle who was on heroin also.”
“We’ve been trying to call and going there trying to find them. There’s a warrant. There’s a $50,000 bond, so if they do see this, call. Call the Fort Thomas Police, or turn yourself in at this time.”
Police arrested Jones on Monday and transported him to the Clermont County jail; meanwhile, there is still an arrest warrant for Thomas.
— WLWT.com (@WLWT) August 20, 2016
Just last week, Whitford stated that “we did an interview the mother. She is healing, she is remorseful of the choices that she made at that time on that date, and she is. She knows she made a mistake.”
The Fort Thomas Police Department also released surveillance footage of the car crash, which “was captured by a video camera operated by Ohio’s Department of Transportation,” and it shows the baby boy being thrown 30-feet into the air during the fatal crash.
The baby survived the crash and has made a full recovery since being discharged from the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.
— WTOL 11 (@WTOL11Toledo) August 20, 2016
The child is now in the care of his relatives.
Authorities say if the couple is found guilty of the charges, they could face up to five years in prison.
If anyone has information on the whereabouts of the child’s mother, Thomas, authorities urge you to contact Fort Thomas police.
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