CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The FOX 8 I-Team has found a man walked away with just a simple traffic ticket after a crash that critically injured a child. But now the story won’t end there because of a mother’s fight for justice.
A three-year-old boy just returned home from nearly a month in the hospital. Cleveland police say he was riding in a car driven by his own father during a crash on Cleveland’s east side. Dad walked away from that and paid just a $100 fine for a traffic ticket.
Then the boy’s mom started asking what really happened? She didn’t understand how a traffic ticket could be issued after a crash when her child nearly died. She went to the city prosecutor’s office. And now, her push for a second look at the case led investigators to find out that wasn’t a simple crash.
Shiovhan Pullom said, "If it wasn't for me, then he would just walk free with just a traffic ticket and almost killed my baby. I have to protect him in every means possible."
The accident happened at East 71 and Broadway in Cleveland. Officers there did arrest the dad, E. Lawrence Gibson. However, he was only charged for reckless operation and having no child seat, and the I-Team found the child restraint charge was dropped.
Cleveland Accident Investigators now say Gibson had his young son riding in the front seat unrestrained.
And police say, at the time of the crash, Gibson actually took his son out of his car and put the child in another vehicle. Police say he never told officers the boy had been riding in his car.
The child’s aunt, Taniva Pullom, showed up at the scene. She says she found the child in a stranger’s vehicle in severe pain. Pullom said, “My nephew was screaming at the top of his lungs.”
The I-Team went looking for Gibson. We tracked him down by phone. We told him a felony warrant had been taken out for him with new charges. He said he would have to look into the new developments. He told us to call him back. We did, but he didn’t pick up, and he didn’t return a message.
The child’s mother plans to keep a close eye on this case at every turn. She realizes she almost lost her son. She said, “And it was heartbreaking.”
The new charges against Gibson include aggravated vehicular assault, child endangering and obstruction of official business.
We contacted police headquarters and city hall to find out more about how the case was first handled, but we did not receive much explanation.