JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A crash Wednesday morning at the intersection of Baymeadows Road and Interstate 295 seriously injured a 4-year-old girl and an 18-year-old relative and sent three others to hospitals with minor injuries.
The crash happened just after 9 a.m. in the eastbound lanes of Baymeadows Road at I-295. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, an Audi A6 driven by Sandra Abbott, 51, of Hamilton, Mich., attempted to turn left onto the southbound ramp to I-295 in front of a Toyota Corolla driven by Nieves Back.
Four-year-old Julliete Back and 18-year-old Joseline Back were both taken to UF Health Jacksonville with serious injuries.
The driver of the Toyota and the driver and a passenger in the Audi were taken to St. Vincent's South with minor injuries.
Two women who witnessed the crash helped the young girl and said they stayed with her to make sure she was calm before emergency crews arrived.
"She just kept saying it hurts a lot, and I just told her -- I could tell she was more scared than anything," said Christine Rusbuldt.
Rusbuldt told the girl what it would be like when rescuers got there.
"It was going to be like a magic carpet ride, because I knew it was a scary thing for kids, especially with a ton of strangers," Rusbuldt said. "I noticed that her booster seat was not where it should have been because of the accident itself."
Rusbuldt and Sarah Avery said they just tried to keep the girl awake until the paramedics arrived.
"Telling her that she was really brave, that she was going on a magic carpet ride with the paramedics," Avery said.
The women said they're not heroes, they just did what they hope anyone else would do.
Rusbuldt said the crash was all to real and reminded her of an accident she was in recently. She said other people came out to help her then.
"It was really scary. I woke up to like six people in my car," Rusbuldt said. "Comforting to know that strangers came out in a time of need to make sure I was alright until the paramedics got there."
Now both of the women who helped the girl they don't even know said they're glad she made it through the crash, and they hope they can see her again.
"I'd love to make sure she's was OK," Rusbuldt said.
All lanes were cleared by 10:30 a.m. while the accident was investigated and cleared. According to the FHP report, charges are pending.