3-Year-Old Hit by Car After Being Left Unattended in Motel and Walking Along Highway with 2-Year-Old

The child's mother was arrested on two counts of felony endangering the welfare of children

<p>Jefferson Hills Police Department</p> Shawnae Galberth

Jefferson Hills Police Department

Shawnae Galberth

A toddler in Pennsylvania was struck by a vehicle on a state highway over the weekend after police say the child's mother left two kids unattended in a motel room.

Shawnae Galberth was taken into custody and charged with two counts of felony endangering the welfare of children after her 3-year-old was hit by a car in the area of State Route 51 outside a local motel, according to the Jefferson Hills Police Department.

The department shared to Facebook a day later that the child "walked out of the Econo Lodge and into the northbound lanes of Route 51," and that the driver of the vehicle was "cooperating with the investigation" and remained on the scene.

"The child was transported by EMS to an area hospital in critical condition," police noted. "The roadway was closed for an extended period and the SHACOG Crash Reconstruction Team responded to assist."

Officers later discovered that Galberth left the 3-year-old unattended with another 2-year-old child — before both kids "exited the room and subsequently walked along" the highway.

Galberth has since been taken to the Allegheny County Jail.

Related: 3-Year-Old Boy Was Driving Truck That Fatally Struck Girl, 2, in Parking Lot: 'We Want Justice,' Mom Says

<p>Getty</p> A stock image of police lights


A stock image of police lights

The arrest comes three months after the Visalia Police Department in California arrested two people on multiple criminal charges — including child cruelty — after finding four children living in what they described as “horrendous” conditions.

Police made the discovery after a 52-year-old woman was left at a local hospital “extremely emaciated and in medical distress,” before they learned she was under care of an adult daughter.

When visiting the home, detectives found Cecilia Colleen Rodriguez, 34, Gregory Paul Chavez, 61, and four children living in conditions with "bugs, feces and trash scattered throughout the home."

Adult Protective Services, Child Welfare Services and Code Enforcement were then called to the home. The kids were placed in the custody of Child Welfare Services and the adults had been charged with elder abuse, child neglect and abuse.

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According to the American Society for the Positive Care of Children, 4.3 million child maltreatment referral reports were received in 2022. Roughly 74.3% of victims (415,445) are neglected, with the American SPCC noting that 5 children die every day from child abuse. 1,990 children died from abuse and neglect in 2022.

If you suspect child abuse, call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to www.childhelp.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

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