Family says Pontiac toddler hit by car is fighting for her life

She's a bright little girl who loves music and dancing and is very curious and adventurous.

But now the family of 20-month-old Eliana Culbertson of Pontiac says they need your prayers. 

"Anything can happen because this accident literally took 45 seconds," said mother Danielle Culbertson. "I've got my daughter fighting for her life right now."

Neighbors on Warwick Street near Hollywood described the moment they felt helpless.

"She was just backing up, a medium speed, then the baby just got hit," said neighbor Jermaine Taylor.

The Oakland County Sheriff's Office says just before 9 a.m. Wednesday, Eliana had been outside with her mother. Neighbors say she was playing while her mother was in the driveway, fixing a flat tire.

"She came and got an air pump and she was pumping her tire up," said neighbor Willie Johnson. "I guess (that was when) her daughter wandered away."

Little Eliana wandered two houses down, walking along the sidewalk where a neighbor driving a black Chevy Equinox had been backing it out of her driveway.

 "When I went to look for her and within 10 seconds of looking, I see her on the sidewalk where the car had rolled over her."

"The driver got out of the car and said 'Oh my God,' ran inside the house and called police and came back out," Taylor said.

But Eliana, witnesses say, wasn't moving.

"She was just lying there, not crying or anything," Taylor said. "Her face was bloody."

Police say when the ambulance arrived she was still unresponsive and wasn't breathing, but after working on her, first responders were able to get a pulse.

The toddler was rushed to Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak and underwent surgery. Her family was by her bedside and told FOX 2 that the toddler has internal bleeding, swelling, and damage to her brain.
"The only thing I can do is wait for the next 24 to 72 hours to see if things are going to turn around," Culbertson said. "They don't know if she's going to make it."

Eliana's family is praying the little girl pulls through.
"I'm praying for both families," Johnson said. "Especially for the one that got hit."

Eliana's mother has a warning for every parent out there.
"If your kids are not in your line of sight or if you can't reach out and touch them within five to 10 seconds, she said. "They are too far away from you."