A 2-year-old girl was seriously hurt in Southampton on Friday afternoon after she released herself from her car-seat restraint and started opening the car door as her mother was pulling out of a gas station, police said.

Southampton Police Sergeant James Cavanagh said the mother and daughter were leaving a gas station at 816 County Rd. 39 about 4:30 p.m. when the girl "released herself from the restraint system and started to open the door as the mother was starting to drive."

Cavanagh said the mother glimpsed what was happening in her rearview mirror and turned around to grab her daughter. "Instead of hitting the brake, she hit the gas," he said.

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Cavanagh said the car lurched forward, jumped a curb, then drove down an embankment and through a fence.

The toddler was taken to Stony Brook University Hospital by Suffolk police helicopter, Cavanagh said.