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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434 comments

  1. Avatar of Alycia Alycia says:

    This is the most disgusting thing I have read on here. How in the world could a mother not look in the back seat after getti into the car to check on baby and triple check that everything is all latched and safe to drive. The thought of a mother neglecting her child like that sickens me. Personally, I have never left anything on too of the car, and in will definitely not start with my child!!!

  2. Avatar of Ondrea Ondrea says:

    First off, who in the WORLD puts their baby on ANYTHING high up especially a car!!!? It makes me sick to think that could ever happen but THANKS to that baby’s guardian angels and some observant neighbors that little one was found safe before another vehicle possibly made it a worse situation… Thank God, that baby is ok

  3. Avatar of Ashley Ashley says:

    I never put my son on top of the car. If there is any reason at all why I can’t put him into the car immediately, he goes on the ground next to me. I’ve had too many things fall off the car by accident to put something as precious as my baby up there

  4. Avatar of Jessica Jessica says:

    I left the mail (that contained my son’s social security card and a hospital bill) on top of my car when my son was 3 weeks old. We made it all the way across town before I realized that I hadn’t put it in the car. Fortunately, the mail was waiting in the ditch across from my house for me when I got home (such a relief, because it was also a windy day). I learned from that experience that it isn’t wise to set ANYTHING important on top of a vehicle.

  5. *Sigh* I can’t judge for this. I think it’s a terrible thing that happened, but I did something similar. My infant was 2, maybe 3, weeks old, and we needed to go to Costco….45 minutes away for us. At that time, she cried ALL. THE. TIME. We didn’t know then that she was allergic to the dairy I was eating, so we assumed colic. We were EXHAUSTED. My husband was even on his paternity leave to help, but we were thoroughly exhausted. I don’t even remember what it was we thought we HAD to have from Costco. Anyways, he got the diaper bag, extra clothes, and my purse. I got the baby, the list, and the coupons. Then she had an accident, and had to be changed before we left. In this poopy craze, I put clean baby back in the car seat in the house while I went to clean myself of her accident. I forgot to buckle her in, I just set her in it because my hands and clothes were poopy. My husband was already outside, and I TOLD HIM I had her ready to go, so he didn’t double check, either. We drove all the way to Costco with the baby not buckled in. He went to get her out and told me I hadn’t buckled her in…I couldn’t even go in Costco I was so distraught. I just cried and cried thinking of all the awful things that COULD have happened but DIDN’T. I swore I’d never do it again…the week my husband went back to work, I did it again. Luckily, I remembered before I got too far, pulled over, and buckled her in properly. It’s tough to be a new mom, not know what to expect, be working on no sleep, and have your hormones so out of whack it causes depression. I’m not going to say I think this gal’s on MJ, because she could have just been exhausted. And don’t put the baby on top of the car? The ground is gross, people, she could have just been so tired and didn’t want the car seat on the dirty ground, put the car seat on top because she couldn’t think of a better place while she loaded up the car. I mean, it’s still likely she was just high, but there are other explanations that I’m sure most new moms can attest to.

  6. Avatar of sheena sheena says:

    omg how in the he** do you forget your baby on top of your car and why was that baby there in the first place what was more important then putting your baby in the car thats the first thing you do is put your baby in the car and make sure he are she is in there safty why would any mom put there child on top of the car sorry to me thats one dumb mother i hope the baby is fine and hopefully the baby is in a home that wants and loves and keeps it safe poor poor baby that makes me so so so mad

  7. Avatar of Senbei Senbei says:

    You always put your child in the car first. Sheer stupidity and disregard of a human life.

  8. Avatar of Alexis Alexis says:

    WoW craziness!!! She needs a break already

  9. Avatar of Alyssa Alyssa says:

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

  10. 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!!

  11. Avatar of Karla Karla says:

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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…

    • Avatar of Erin Erin says:

      Congrats on your pregnancy! I too thought I would never have a child my son is now 8. I never once left him by mistake because even in my worst sleep deprived state he was the first thing on my mind every move I made.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

    • Avatar of Theresa Theresa says:

      I agree accidents do happen, but you DO NOT put your child on top of the car

      • Avatar of Erin Erin says:

        Poking your child in the eye or scratching them is an honest oops not even a mistake. Leaving your child on the roof of your car is asinine. All parents make mistakes it is part of learning. What would be a reason for putting a car seat on the roof? If you had to put them down at all say to lift the front seat wouldn’t you simply place the seat on the ground by your feet? To lift the seat on to the roof of even the smallest car is strange enough but to not hear a big clunky car seat fall off as you drive is unbelievable. I have heard a cell phone fall off my roof as i drove.

  16. Avatar of Tom Tom says:

    Corporal punishment is in order.

  17. 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.

    • Avatar of michele michele says:

      OK i understand not judging but being as careless as this woman was, is just unacceptable. would you still be saying that if the baby had died? this could have easily killed a 5 week old.. the baby landed in an intersection!!

      • Avatar of Erin Erin says:

        So I guess the people that are in prison for child abuse should get out since they were judged and convicted. Let people live their lives sure but if they are hurting innocent children they deserve to be judged and stopped from hurting children.

  18. 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. .

  19. 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…

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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!

  23. 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 ;)

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