A woman faces simple battery charges on Tuesday after she took off with her infant daughter and was subsequently involved in a fatal car crash, where the child was ejected from the vehicle, police said.
Police have identified driver Kristofer Astorga, 22, as the lone fatality in Monday night's violent wreck near NW 21st Avenue and NW 20th Street in Miami.
Astorga was behind the wheel of the silver Lincoln also carrying his girlfriend, Mylife Rivera-Vasquez, and her 15-month-old daughter, identified as Juliet Rivera, police said.
Miami Police said they believe Astorga was trying to speed away from a conflict between Rivera-Vasquez and her baby's father's girlfriend. At some point, detectives said, Astorga's vehicle collided with the black Chevy Tahoe. The impact ejected Astorga – who later died of cardiac arrest – and baby Rivera, who was later scooped by someone in a following car, said one witness.
"Yeah, the car picked up the baby and took the baby to the hospital," Damian Cabrera recalled.
Authorities said the father's girlfriend followed the silver Lincoln, grabbed the child, and took her to Jackson Memorial Hospital.
Rivera-Vasquez and the baby are in critical condition, according to police.
Police said the incident began when Rivera-Vasquez, the girl's mother, convinced the stepmother to meet her at NW 17th Ave. and 28th Street, so she could see her daughter, police said. The child had been living with her father and her stepmother.
Rivera-Vasquez arrived with several other people and the stepmother was attacked and punched, police said.
Meanwhile, Rivera-Vasquez grabbed the child and fled in a Lincoln Towncar, which ran a stop sign at the intersection of NW 21st Avenue and 20th Street and crashed into a Chevy Tahoe, Miami Fire Rescue spokesman Lt. Ignatius Carroll said.
The driver of the Lincoln, Astorga, who was ejected from the car, was rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center where he was pronounced dead.
A female passenger in the Tahoe was taken to Ryder Trauma complaining of head and neck pain. The male driver of the Tahoe stayed at the scene and was being interviewed by Miami Police on how the crash happened, Carroll said.
Rivera-Vasquez was arrested and faces two counts of simple battery. It wasn't immediately known if she had an attorney.
Anyone with information is asked to call Miami Police at 305-603-6525.