Janice Stanton found herself the subject of every mother’s worst nightmare. She was making what she intended to be a quick stop at a Monterey Bay grocer. Parked in the downtown area, along the shoreline, she exited her vehicle and went to open the back door to get her infant son out of his carseat. She pulled the latch on the back door and found that the door had locked. She reached into her pockets searching for her keys. Panic struck, when she saw them sitting in the driver’s seat.
Janice immediately used her cell phone to call for a locksmith. She expressed her dire circumstance and the urgency of the situation. “I thought she was high as shit. Those junkies pop in, once in a while.” Says Tom, wrecker operator, for a local towing company. They preferred not to be named for this article. “But, then I asked her what kinda car she had, ya know, so I could know what tools to bring. When she said it was one of those overpriced smart cars, I didn’t care if she was a druggie, ’cause I knew she had some money.” Wonder why the company chose to be unnamed…
During her call, to get away from noise of the bustling downtown district, she tells us- “I briefly stepped away, but I kept a close eye on the car. It never left my sight.” That’s when it started rolling downhill, towards the ocean bay. “I was terrified. I ran towards it, but it kept going and I wasn’t fast enough.” Her car slid into the water. Mrs. Stanton frantically yelled for help, but this being California, everyone either ignored her or told her that it wasn’t their problem.
About 45 seconds after plunging into the water, the vehicle emerged with the young boy visibily shaken, but unhurt. When the locksmith arrived, the mother swiftly removed her son from the car and hugged him tightly. “I was so relieved. I was worried that he may be permanently traumatized, but when he said his first word that day, I knew that God was watching over us.” His first word- “rerouting”.
When asked to comment the father said that he knew that car was a good buy from the day he got it. The mother told us that she had never argued that it was a bad buy, just that he could have at least talked to her first before making a major purchase. Mr. Stanton then looked fiercely at Mrs. Stanton and said, “you told me that was one of the biggest mistakes of my life.” Mrs. Stanton responded with a cold, bitchy glare. Mr. Stanton then told us that he was just happy that his child’s first words weren’t anything like what comes out of her mouth.
In light of all of the media coverage, we asked the Stantons if they felt that their lives would be significantly changed by this incident. Mrs. Stanton expressed her eagerness to put this behind them and live a normal life. Mr. Stanton spoke with us on the record- “I’ll probably just sleep on the couch a lot more, now.”
Contributed by Jackie Coime