NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police on Staten Island were looking late Monday for a hit-and-run driver who struck a woman as she was taking her infant nephew out of a minivan.

Police said 37-year-old Monique Knight was removing her 4-month-old nephew from the back of a vehicle on Westervelt Avenue in New Brighton shortly after midnight when she was struck by a hit-and-run driver, who smashed into her car.

Following the terrible hit-and-run, a child’s toy was scattered among the debris.

The crash was heard by neighbors.

“I heard a big boom,” one man said.

“I looked down and her leg was splattered, it was just all over,” said Shanelle Browning, who is the infant’s aunt and a friend of the victim.

She says Knight, the infant — named Carter, and Carter’s mother had just returned from a trip to Adventureland on Long Island when Knight was struck.

“Pinned the lady against the door of the car,” said witness Reginald Van Dyke.

Police say the hit-and-run driver first hit a parked car before barreling into Knight, who friends say acted quickly to save the little boy from danger.

“She was holding Carter and when she sees the car coming up so fast she threw him back in the car to protect the child,” Browning said. “She saved the baby, she got hit herself.”

Police say Knight was taken to Richmond University Medical Center with a leg injury. Friends say she underwent surgery and is in critical, but stable, condition.

The child and his mother were also taken to the hospital for observation. The infant was not injured.

Police tell CBS2 the suspect is to believed to be driving a dark colored Jeep.

Police are now actively searching for that vehicle.

Browning told CBS2 the license plate to that vehicle was knocked off the car and police now have it in their possession.

Knight is a single mother with three children.

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