MUNCIE, Ind. (July 30, 2015) - A Muncie man is behind bars after crashing a car into a creek with a teenager and baby inside.
It happened Wednesday evening on East Yale Ave. According to court records, Brent South stole a car from a driveway. A teenager and 11-month-old baby were inside the car. South sped off with the car. Neighbors say he was going more than 60 mph around a curve before crashing into a creek.
"It sounded like a cannon went off and shook the ground real hard," said neighbor Brandon Brooks.
Brooks was sitting outside his home across from the creek when he heard the crash, followed by the baby's cries for help.
"I couldn’t explain how it makes you feel when you hear a little kid creaming and crying like that," Brooks said.
The teenage girl was able to get out of the car on her own and went to a nearby home to get help. She was treated for minor injuries. South took off after the crash. Brooks said he saw him running across the field. Brooks also says South is well known in the community. The baby's mother even knows the suspect.
“That’s somebody that I thought I could trust my kids lives with," said Kaylee Jones.
Police caught up with South inside a trailer a few minutes after the crash. He was arrested and taken to the hospital for minor injuries he received during the crash.
Brooks and another neighbor rushed to help get the baby out of the car. Brooks said the car was submerged in the creek and the baby was covered with water.
“It was completely under water. She was completely almost under water. She was just lifting up her head just enough to get and scream," he said.
The baby's mother says seeing the images of the car is heartbreaking.
"It makes me cry just to know that my baby was in the backseat of that car," said Jones.
After jumping into the creek, Brooks climbed through the window, pulled the baby's seat belt off and grabbed her, pulling her to safety.
The baby was taken to Riley Children's Hospital to be evaluated. She had minor cuts and bruises, but was released Thursday.
The hero neighbor said he knew he was in the right place at the right time for a reason. He said if he jump into the creek at the right timing, there would be a much different ending.
"I couldn’t even begin to express how grateful and thankful I am," said Jones.
South is charged with neglect of a dependent, leaving the scene of an accident, OWI with serous injury, residential entry, reckless driving, auto theft, and driving while suspended. He tested positive for codine, cannabis, opiates, and benzos.