A mother, toddler and infant were seriously injured Tuesday morning in a crash near Garner Elementary school in Winter Haven, authorities said.
Police said Keri Rendner had just dropped off two other children at Garner when she pulled onto Havendale Boulevard from Boys Club Road and her Chevrolet Cobalt was hit on the driver's side by a Ford Expedition SUV.
The toddler, strapped in a car set, was ejected. The infant was not ejected, but was not breathing when help arrived.
Remarkably, an off-duty Auburndale police officer, an off-duty Polk County sheriff's deputy and a nurse happened to come on the scene quickly, and they rendered aid.
"It was a toddler seat on its back, but I seen little arms and legs in it," said Deputy Debra Martin.
Rendner was transported to Lakeland Regional Medical Center as a trauma alert. The children, 2-month-old Imani Brown and 3-year-old Mehki Brown, were airlifted to Arnold Palmer Medical Center.
"I touched her (Imani's) leg, looked for a pulse and there was no pulse whatsoever," said Martin.
Martin started performing CPR and that's when former emergency room nurse Cheryl Kelly drove up.
"The off duty officer was doing the chest compressions, so I just went down on my knees and started doing the breathing part of the CPR," Kelly said.
That's when Imani's heart started to beat and she started to breathe before an ambulance arrived.
"And I think that everybody standing around me started cheering for joy because we knew we got her back," Martin said.
Imani was listed in critical condition, and Mehki was in stable condition.
"I just want to know that the baby survives. That's all I want to know that the baby survives," said Kelly.
At last check, Imani Brown is listed in critical condition at Arnold Palmer Hospital. Mekhi Brown is in stable condition and mom Randor is recovering at Lakeland Regional Hospital.
The driver and a passenger in the SUV, Beverly Marieta and Roseta Johnson, were taken to Winter Haven Hospital with minor injuries, authorities said.