CINCINNATI – Julie Bates was slumped over the steering wheel, foot on the brake, car in gear, in the middle of the road, with her baby son in the rear seat, police said.
A passerby caught part of that on video, plus the sound of two women crying out in shock and disgust.
"I can not believe it ."
"I can't believe it. This ---- is taking over.
"With her baby."
"This stupid ass drug."
Bates, 34, of Reading, passed out from heroin, police said. She stopped her van at the busy intersection of Martin Luther King Drive and Reading Road about 1:30 Tuesday afternoon.
She didn't move when the light turned green again and again. Finally, two men driving behind her got out to check. They couldn't believe what they saw.
"Really shocked to see a baby in the back hollering and screaming, 'Mama,'" Larry Collins of Avondale said.
Tyrone Turner of Avondale said he couldn't tell what happened to Bates - heart attack or "heroin attack."
"This could have ended very badly. This could have killed a lot of people," Turner said.
Cincinnati Police Lt. Bruce Hoffbauer said he hears of three or four accidents a week where heroin use is suspected.
"When someone uses or purchases or gets the drug in their possession, they can't wait to use it, so they inject it. It gets in their system and then they try to drive home," Hoffbauer said.
Over the weekend, a Tri-State woman died of an overdose with her kids in the car. In June, the same woman had got high with her kids along, but she was found in time and revived.
Turner thinks Bates should go to jail, but Collins disagreed.
"Not only does this woman need help, I think she should be punished because this is the new academic of what you're behind every time you're in your car," Turner said.
"Jail is not going to be the solution to this," Collins said. "They need to find a place where they can really help these people because they're doing it in the parks, they're doing it in the restaurants, and now they're doing it in the streets."
Bates' attorney entered pleas of not guilty to endangering children, operating a vehicle under the influence, and other counts Tuesday morning. Bates was in the Hamilton County Justice Center as of Tuesday afternoon.
Bates has been arrested before on theft and drug trafficking charges, according to court documents.