A teen mother who drove into a flooded area with her newborn child last fall entered a diversion plea agreement Thursday and may be able to avoid a criminal conviction.

Tiffany Sherman, 18, was arrested on suspicion of child abuse on Sept. 6 after she called 911 about 11 a.m. to report she was stuck in a wash in a Buick sedan with her 1-month-old baby.

When deputies arrived, the car was partially submerged, and water was inside the vehicle.

Deputies rescued the mother and infant, and neither was injured.

Sherman was indicted Oct. 23 on one count of child abuse, death or serious physical injury not likely.

On Thursday, Sherman pleaded guilty to endangerment and agreed to meet with officials who will determine if she needs to participate in counseling, take classes or perform community service, said Assistant Pima County Public Defender Juliana Ore-Giron.

If Sherman successfully completes the tasks she’s given, the case against her will be dismissed.

Sherman also agreed to pay $426 to the Pima County Sheriff’s Department to reimburse it for the cost of the rescue, Ore-Giron said.

“She’s a very sweet and caring parent,” Ore-Giron said. “She was horrified by what happened. She felt sad to be labeled as a criminal and a child abuser.”

The car in front of Sherman drove through the water and Sherman acknowledges she made a bad decision by following it, Ore-Giron said.

Senior Editor, News, Arizona Daily Star, Tucson, Az.