A Wolcott mom was arrested Monday after her 3-year-old son rode his plastic car into the middle of the road while she slept on the couch, according to police.
Shelly Churchelow, 28, was charged with risk of injury to a minor.
Officers were called to Spindle Hill Road around 9:30 a.m. on Monday after two passersby noticed Churchelow's toddler riding a plastic car in the middle of the street, just around a sharp curve.
"I didn't even realize what I was seeing," said one of the women who pulled over, Alex Earnshaw of Wolcott. "I was like, 'What? Is there really a baby in the street? Is there a baby car? Because I didn't see the baby at first until I pulled up closer, and there was nobody outside from the yard."
Earnshaw and another woman helped the little boy to the side of the road and called 911.
"At any moment, if anybody even came around, they would have hit my car and the baby," Earnshaw said.
While they were waiting for police to arrive, the women noticed the door to the nearest home was wide open. The child seemed to be alone.
An arriving officer took the boy and called out through the open door at 475 Spindle Hill Drive, awaking Churchelow, who had been asleep on the couch, according to police.
Churchelow told the officer the front door to her home had a childproof knob. While that was true, it turned out the latch was broken, allowing the door to open easily when pulled, police said.
The officer walked through Churchelow's home "and found it to be a mess," according to police.
Police contacted the Department of Children and Families and placed the toddler in the care of his grandmother.
Authorities are grateful to Earnshaw and the other woman who stopped to help.
"Luckily the two woman (sic) who stopped, were able to remove the boy from the roadway preventing a tragedy from happening," Wolcott police wrote in a news release Monday.
Churchelow was released after posting $5,000 bond and is due in court Tuesday. No one answered the door at Churchelow's home Monday evening. It's not clear if she has an attorney.