Chad Mock's eyes were not deceiving him. That was a small child strapped in a car seat that fell from a moving vehicle right in front of him as he drove through Mankato on Monday.

"I couldn't believe what I was seeing at first," Mock wrote on Facebook, where he posted the video that has been shared thousands of times. "If it didn't happen in front of me, I'd never believed it."

His dashcam caught the whole thing.

Mock was rounding a corner on Minnesota Street near a Hy-Vee grocery store about 11:45 a.m. when he saw the 2-year-old girl tumble from the rear driver's side door and land in the middle of the street.

The vehicle that the toddler had fallen from kept going, but Mock stopped and rushed to the girl to protect her from passing traffic. He picked the girl up, put her in his vehicle and pulled into the grocery store's parking lot and waited for police to arrive.

About 20 minutes later, the mother returned, Mock said in an interview Tuesday. By then, he said, police were on the scene.

The child was examined by public safety and ambulance staff and found not to be injured.

"Very lucky," Mock said.

The child was released to her mother, he said.

According to the Mankato Department of Public Safety, the child was properly fastened inside the safety seat, but the seat was not fastened to the vehicle seat.

Potential charges of child endangerment and child restraint system not fastened have been forwarded to prosecutors for review, the department said in a statement.

Tim Harlow • 612-673-7768