Alicia Dougherty, 30, and her two-year old son suffered cuts and bruises but no broken bones.
They were run over not once but twice. Police said it was a miracle they weren't seriously injured.
Police said the driver of the big rig was making a wide right turn onto Fresno Street but never saw Alicia Dougherty and her two-year-old son in the crosswalk.
Stephanie Gonzales watched as Dougherty shielded her son from the truck's tires. She explained, "For a mom to be that brave to save her baby over herself that takes a lot of heart. So pretty much she grabbed the baby and tried to take it for him and when I seen her I didn't think she made it because she was flopping around on the floor."
Other witnesses ran over to tell the driver to stop the truck. But Captain Andy Hall of the Fresno police department said, "He mistook that for 'back up' and he put the vehicle in reverse."
Hall said 35-year-old Tejpal Sandhu of Newark would have backed over both of them if Dougherty didn't push her son to safety. "One of the tires caught the boy's foot and ran over it. Fortunately it didn't break the foot, bruised. Mom, there were tire tracks over her torso but miraculously nothing broken and she's going to be okay."
Doughtery and her son were recovering at Community Regional Medical Center.
Hall expected the driver to be cited for failure to yield to a pedestrian.
Gonzales was amazed by Dougherty's protective parental instincts. "She was just crying for her baby, saying the tire almost got him and she saved him."
Captain Hall said ironically, Alicia Dougherty was teaching her son the proper way to cross the street - how to push the button and wait for the walk sign.
Unfortunately, Hall said the driver was not paying attention.