HOUSTON (KIAH) — It was a close call for a 4-year-old and a toddler after their mother left them in a busy parking lot as she fled from police, officers said.

The incident happened at 4 a.m. Sunday in the parking lot of a Walgreens at 6600 Airline Road in north Houston.

A Houston police officer was slowing traffic due to a crash on Parker Road when he saw two vehicles in the parking lot and a toddler running around. The vehicles saw the patrol vehicle and began to back up extremely fast, police said.

The vehicles left the scene, leaving the two children. The kids ran after the vehicles and toward traffic.

The officer, who was on North Patrol, was able to get to the kids before they got hurt, police said.

The mother was taken into custody. It is not clear why she ran from the area and left her kids when she saw police.

Neither the mother nor the other person who fled are being charged, but an investigation by Child Protective Services has been opened.

The children were released to other family members who came to the scene.