Mom Drives Away with 5-week-old Baby on Top of Car

Monday, June 4th, 2012 by from Buzzworthy Bulletins

Newborn sleeping in the car seat

Have you ever placed your cup of coffee on top of your car, only to forget about it and drive away, your cup still steaming on top? Have you ever placed your baby’s car seat, with your baby strapped inside of it, on top of your car, only to forget that your little one is still up there – so you drive away?

19-year-old Catalina Clouser “put her 5-week-old baby on top of her car in his car seat and drove away, apparently forgetting he was there, not even noticing when the seat fell off the car and landed in an intersection, police said.”

The baby was discovered in the roadway, uninjured and still strapped in his car seat, by neighbors. The police believe that Clouser was under the influence of something, most likely marijuana, which impaired her judgment.

The baby is now in the custody of Child Protective Services.

I’ve forgotten a water bottle on top of my car. And when I was younger, I had an outdoor cat that liked to sunbathe on the top of my mother’s van; and he once stayed up there while my mother began driving to the grocery store (he jumped off at the first stop sign).

Forgetting that your baby is on top of the car and driving away seems unbelievable! Not hearing the car seat fall off, and continuing to drive – still forgetting – seems much crazier. He was 5 weeks old… how do you forget that? You don’t – if you can’t be responsible enough to keep your judgment intact at all appropriate times, you should not have children.

What’s the craziest thing you placed on top of your car but forgot about, and then drove away?

What do you think? Mom Drives Away with 5-week-old Baby on Top of Car

Kim ShannonEditor

Kimberly Shannon is a wife, a mother, an editor, a writer ... She is always working to find the perfect balance¹! After Kimberly received her bachelor’s degree in Journalism, she worked on two master’s degree programs (Creative Writing, and Marriage and Family Therapy). At various times in her life she has signed up to study Naturopathy, only to back out at the last minute, and humored the idea of returning full-time to the world of dance. Kimberly has also started 10 different children ... More

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422 comments

  1. Avatar of Alexis Alexis says:

    WoW craziness!!! She needs a break already

  2. Avatar of Alyssa Alyssa says:

    She must really love that child. Great mom. (not)

  3. Avatar of Kristin Kristin says:

    My mom forgot my little brother in the back seat of the car when she ran into the store before…..but then again it was probably a liquor store too though. I cannot imagine the guilt of knowing you are responsible for a tiny little person that depends on you and only you to make sure that they are safe and taken care of, and just being so caught up in yourself to not notice something that has been with you for 10 months is not there anymore…that’s why irresponsible kids shouldn’t have kids!!

  4. Avatar of Karla Karla says:

    i don’t know what to say*_* people like that shouldn’t have kids!!!!

  5. Avatar of Candy Candy says:

    First of all why would u put your child on top of your car !!!!!!

    • Avatar of Theresa Theresa says:

      My thoughts exactly, who in their right mind would do such a thing. I have never put my children on top of the car. She needs a serious lesson in parenting.

  6. Avatar of Miriam Miriam says:

    Wow this is unbelievable what an irresponsible selfish little girl! people like this do not deserved to have children. I have been trying for years and was told I couldn’t have children. God healed my body and gave me a child and now, I am 9 weeks…this is just sad.. absolutely awful…

  7. Avatar of Melissa Melissa says:

    MY brothers childhood freind went through a meth stage of his life. Lost a lot of brain cells. He forget his baby on top of his car, but he didn’t drive very far, only pulled out of the driveway i think, before he remembered the baby was on the car. The lil girl was fine, and he continues to work on his parenting to this day. In his case, hes a man, who made a lot of mistakes, but is working hard to be a good father to his daughter now with what brains he has left. He’s entirely clean now, but thats because hes committed to being better. unfortunately, not everyone is.

  8. Avatar of CCB CCB says:

    Some people need to realize that they are not perfect and things happen. It does not mean you are a bad mom or someone that should not have had kids, it means you are human. I am not saying that what happened is not terrible, it definitely is. However, people need to look in the mirror. I am sure there are things that have happened to first time moms that they are not proud of. I for one can say that but it absolutely made me a better parent. My son is 3ys old now and I have poked him in the eye by mistake, been too rough and even accidentally scratched him. These are all things that are unintentional but if he forgives me for the mistakes I have made then that is all that matters.

  9. Avatar of Tom Tom says:

    Corporal punishment is in order.

  10. Avatar of Pat Pat says:

    Wow, there are a lot of judgmental people on this site. Remember God said “judge not, least you be judged.” My question to each of them is “have you ever made a mistake in your life?” If not, guess you are of a species other than those walking the earth.

  11. Avatar of Merrie Merrie says:

    HERE’S A GREAT TIP, after many of my own “top of the car” losses (i.e. purses, wallets, and numerous beverages)…:
    Develop the habit that every time you are about to set ANYTHING on top of your car, PUT IT ON THE HOOD, in FRONT OF YOUR WINDSHIELD, NOT ON THE TOP OF THE CAR!!!… Since practicing this, I haven’t lost one thing, as I see it BEFORE I TAKE OFF…

    • Avatar of Pat Pat says:

      Ingenious – great tip people listen to Merrie. Thanks Merrie for being one of the few people who are not judging others, but giving good sound advice.

    • Avatar of Pat Pat says:

      Great idea – thankfully I have never put anything on top of my car and left it there. But, using the hood is ingenious. Finally, someone of this message board is saying something that will work. .

  12. Avatar of Merrie Merrie says:

    When my precious daughter was only around 4 months old or so, I attempted to make a repair to her bouncy seat… With her IN IT… My screwdriver slipped and gave her a horrible gash on her cheek..! I was horrified, and took it worse than she actually did… Lesson LEARNED. Somewhere near that time, I parked her (strapped securely in her stroller), at the edge of our neighborhood pond to walk some yards away ( to do WHAT, I can’t recall)… Her stroller sank on one side in soft soil, and tipped completely on its side with her strapped in… Being yards away, I couldn’t get back fast enough!! She was uninjured, but again Mom was devastated for a good period… Somewhere in that time period, best I can recall, I accidentally locked the car before getting her out… yes, with the keys also still inside… I had to break into my own home to retrieve the extra set of keys, which required me also leaving her sight down a flight of stairs from our driveway where she had to wait in the car, alone, for me to do all of this… Again, Mom ended up worse off than she did, as I had never been out of her sight while she was awake in her entire LIFE so far, much less EVER left completely alone… And, finally: When she was about 1-and-a-half, I put a HOT pot pie on the table in front of her, which I broke into to chop it up and cool it down as I always had, only I slopped the sizzling sauce right over onto her bare leg at first chop… I grabbed her, cried and cried and held her for long after she was over it… Accidents and stupid mistakes can happen to anyone, and especially to a first time mom… When they do, you hate yourself, and it will affect you forever… Hopefully, we vow it won’t happen again, and are thankful it didn’t turn out worse…

  13. Avatar of Mrs. Dread Mrs. Dread says:

    Of COURSE it was because of Marijuana… couldn’t possibly be that she wasn’t mature enough to have a child, or just plain exhausted and distracted FROM having the child?! I realize that it’s near impossible to build a failsafe routine so quickly, but I feel like I would check and double check… and how did she not hear the carseat fall? Music too loud? Talking/Texting while driving? Lots of things could be a factor here..Sadly, this make young moms look very bad… I’m glad the baby was okay, and hopefully mom learned a crucial lesson.

  14. Avatar of queenbee queenbee says:

    I see a lot of relatively new or young moms on here. I am a bit older. I have 5 kids all of them grown (except my youngest) plus I helped raise my little brother who is now 41. The thing for ALL moms to remember is never say never–you are not dead yet. I have seen it all–moms who left kids on top of cars (this is not the first story like this) or at malls or alone at home or inside a hot car or ran over and killed their kid who was sunbathing in the driveway. ALL regrettable and most accidental. I wish people WOULD STOP saying how horrible a person is, or that they should never be allowed to have kids and stuff like that.

    Being tired or on meds are not the only things that can cause absentmindedness. Depression can cause it, anxiety can cause it. to the level that you leave your kid on top of the car? For many, maybe not, but never say what you would or would not do because as you CONTINUE to live and breathe and grow up, you may find yourself doing many things you never thought you would or even could do. It is one of the perks of age–eventually life WILL humble a lot of us and with that comes more understanding. I hope the new mom gets counseling and gets her baby back–I am wagering that she will never leave her baby on top of a car again. Hindsight is always 20/20 and unfortunately some of us have to learn about mistakes the hard way. I see nothing to suggest this was a mean mom, an abusive or neglectful mom (at least she had a car seat) or anything more than an obviously stressed mom–who needs a bit of understanding and assistance.

    I might have had a different opinion if she left her child in a freezing car or hot car while she went somewhere to get her nails done, or left her child on the top of the car then went out to eat and never thought of the baby. This was a horrible, horrible accident and thank God the baby was okay–NOW instead of being judgmental and self righteous walking on water Jesus moms–let’s see about helping that mom be a better, more mindful mom instead of indicting her for this mistake.

  15. Avatar of Rebecca Rebecca says:

    I once drove all the way to work with both kids on top of the car… totally forgot to drop them off at school!! Okay, not really… some people really should not have kids!

  16. Avatar of m71727 m71727 says:

    I’m glad the baby is ok I couldn’t imagine doing anything like that I check and double check both my kids are buckled in the carseat and carseat buckled in car that’s just soo scary to me! I once left my iPhone on top of the car and drove halfway to my location when I forgot the address remembered I left it on top of the car stopped at a red light got out of the car and it was still there! That’s the only good thing about the rubber cases ;)

  17. Avatar of Jacqueline Jacqueline says:

    What’s wrong with her, she obviously doesn’t need to have kids she needs to be behind bars . That’s just unheard of , she obviously wasn’t thinking.

  18. Avatar of Nicole Nicole says:

    This has me baffled. I have had 3 kids and I was 16 when I had my first. It never once even crossed my mind to put my baby on top of the car. Ever. Thinking back, I think the highest I lifted the seat was on to the table to take her out because it hurt to bend over and I never took my hand off of the seat for a second. The baby can start kicking their feet or something and get the carrier rocking and it can fall off. The higher up they are, the farther they have to fall. To me that just seems like common sense.

  19. Avatar of raven raven says:

    ths makes young moms look really bad

  20. Avatar of Meagan Meagan says:

    Ok so I didn’t read all of the comments but it dose seam to be a bit of a back and forth with who’s right and who’s wrong and in this kind of situation its not about right or wrong. I’m a single mom my little one is 3 now and as health as horse. But I do remember when she was just born and the pure exhaustion I felt back then and to be honest if I left the house in the first month it was with someone else driving because I didn’t trust my self driving yet cuz well to be honest between the pain killers I was on and the lack of sleep I didn’t want to chance my safety or my new baby’s. So I think the woman in this story did make a very bad decision and should have some repercussions. Granted I’m not going to assume that anything but exhaustion and maybe pain killers as being involved granted in this kind of situation it is easy to assume some sort of narcotics may have been involved but you do also have to realize that if there wasn’t some amount of evidence showing it to be possible legally it cant be written (sorry a bit of print journalism stint). But new mothers can be forgetful even if its not there first child. I’ve been told the same story so many time about how a house full of women most of them mothers left my little brother in his car seat on the kitchen table although he wasn’t alone long it made my mom grandma and 5 aunts feel terrible so if that many moms can forget the same kid in the same instant is it really that unbelievable that one mother who was not running at her best could forget her baby. I am against putting kids on top of cars all together and this is coming from a fairly tall mom but as heavy as car seats are with kids in them why would you and I am a bit iffy about putting car seats on the ground unless you can control enough variables like ensuring the vehicle your getting out of isn’t going to move and that your next to a car that isn’t going to move till you have cleared the area, personally I always found it easier to set myself up with my purse and the diaper bag before unhooking the car seat but I saw it as a way to protect my baby not only from stupid people but from the weather as well. now for my opinions as to what should happen to this particular mom first I think she should have her license temporarily revoked because what she did was reckless endangerment and that what they typically do in that situation whether there’s a kid involved or not she should have her kid places with a family member until she completes some sort of parenting classes gets her license back and if narcotics were in fact involved rehab so that when she is back with her kid shell think twice about whats shes doing before she dose something like this again and kills some one wether it be her child or someone else. As for things I’ve left on top of my car I’ve left everything from cell phones, car keys, coffee mugs, diaper bags, bottles you name it but nothing as irreplaceable as my kid and I’m so glad my kid is old enough to talk and can get my attention when needed if I’m distracted. But thanks for reading my rant.

  21. Avatar of jennifer jennifer says:

    ok….im a mom of 3 now…they are 7, 5, and 4 months…it has been of course 5 years since I have had an infant and I would NEVER put a baby on top of my darn car!! course I cant reach that high anyway…how hard is it to place the baby in the car when u get to it THEN put the things u have in the car after!! specially if they are in a carrier! and yes…this mama is very sleep deprived with having 3 children now but the only think I have done is forget to put a liner in the bottle then pour water all over, or like this morning I went to make a bottle and wondered why the bottle of water was already open and had some out…cause I had already put it in the bottle! lol that’s the little things sleep deprivation will do…not forget ur child on top of a darn car!! im sorry I just don’t see how that’s something a mother can forget…just like leaving babies in a car and they die from the heat..i know someone else that commented did that but remembered right away and all was good im talking about ppl that go to work and leave the baby in the car…how do u forget u have ur baby in a car for a whole damn day??? but this isn’t about that so I wont go there lol

  22. Avatar of Melanie Melanie says:

    I left my laptop on top of my car. As I made a sharp left turn I heard a loud bump as it fell off of the car, and then saw it being crushed by oncoming traffic. It always amazes me that the babies in these stories are never hurt. As a Mom, I can’t imagine the horror.

  23. Avatar of Jasmine Jasmine says:

    the saddest thing i have ever left on my car: after getting fast food i put most of it on my car sodas nachos all the goodness and drove away and lost all of my dinner. never have i put any of my children on the car

  24. Avatar of Vanessa Vanessa says:

    I accidentally left my 4-day-old baby in the car at a Target. I noticed after grabbing the cart and realizing I didn’t have the carrier, but I managed to get out of my car and walk into the store prior to realizing I had forgotten my baby. I was so embarrassed I went home and didn’t pick up the grocery items I needed. My point is accidents can happen. I have left my cell phone on top of my car numerous times and once had to pick it up from the side of the freeway. I hope this was just a horrible accident and not a drug related incident.

    • Avatar of Susan Susan says:

      I totally sympathize! When you havea4 day old baby there is no way that you should be the one picking up groceries anywhere.

    • Avatar of Haley Haley says:

      There really aren’t accidents when it comes to forgetting about your child. You are either being extremely careless or you may be just so consumed with yourself that you probably aren’t ready for children.

      • Avatar of Susan Susan says:

        Haley: Did you ever consider that she was sleep deprived, lacking enough help, and less than 100 hours from having given birth? Stop being so judgmental.

      • Avatar of queenbee queenbee says:

        ..or amazingly distracted. God says pride comes before a fall, but even more than he despises prideful people–He despises self righteous people. There really are accidents, it all depends on where a person’s head is at–you will learn this as you get older.

      • Avatar of queenbee queenbee says:

        Yes there are accidents that can include forgetting your kid. I hope you do not learn this the hard way. I have never forgotten my kids in this way but had a friend who saw her daughter sunbathing behind her car then went back in the house got something got in her car and DROVE over her lovely and talented 16 year old. The love of her life. the girl died. The mom never forgave herself. Things do happen and when people (like you) deal in absolutes well… life can teach you what my post can never reach. Her remarks are not saying it is okay–of course it is not okay but I am in my 50s now and have forgotten my dog in the car–luckily not for very long. I went into the store to pay for gas, stayed in the store to get some munchies and chat with the clerk and for those 15 minutes, I FORGOT my dog and did not crack the window. I remember going back to the car and being shocked that one of my dogs was in the car! I forgot that I was going to take him on my hike with me. Stuff happens–mind your own steps and try practicing a very small yet significant thing –EMPATHY like spelling and learning proper grammar they can not only enhance YOUR life but the lives of those you interact with. Have a nice day.

    • Avatar of victoria victoria says:

      R I serious. No u ddot jist forget a child r u nuts or dumb…… y wouldnt u just put the child in the car in the first place ive never thot of pitting a car seat on top of my car. Ur remarks for her is sayin its okay…. no its not my kids r always on my mind only ppl who doesn’t care or is in responsible for that…… so no dont just use that as an excuse. ..

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