Both the child and the female pedestrian were rushed to a local hospital for treatment. Unfortunately, the child died, and the woman is still serious.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on October 20, 2021. It has since been updated.
Trigger warning: This story discusses death that may be disturbing to readers.
An 18-month-old baby was accompanying his grandparents at their tamales stall by a church on October 17, 2021. They've been at the same spot for 20 years, which means they were pretty familiar with the area, but around 7:30 am in the 15500 block of West Nordhoff Street, a 2016 Honda CRV collided with a gray Toyota Camry, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
The Honda was heading west on Nordhoff was making a left turn when the collision happened, according to Los Angeles Times. The force of the collision sent the Honda over the curb at the southeast corner of the intersection but instead of braking, the driver accelerated, causing the car to head towards the sidewalk, where the boy was in his stroller near the food cart alongside an adult woman that was standing there and the vehicle struck them both, revealed LAPD Detective Lisset Fuentes. The woman isn't related to the family.
"I don't know exactly what happened because I just hear the noise of the two cars crash," said Alfredo Morales, the child's grandfather, according to ABC7. "And one of them came directly to the baby." After the crash, the driver of the CRV, who was not identified, remained at the scene until the paramedics arrived.
But the same couldn't be said for the driver of the Corolla, who fled the scene. Police have classified the crash as a hit-and-run, Fuentes said, adding that there is no indication that either driver was under the influence or speeding. She then mentioned that “the investigation is still fluid, so things might change.”
Both the child and the female pedestrian were rushed to a local hospital for treatment. Unfortunately, the child died and the coroner's office identified him as Gerardo Sebastian Chavez Morales of North Hills. The woman remains in a hospital in serious condition.
The grieving grandfather is in denial about his grandson's death. "I had him right next to me," he said. The boy’s mother, Ana Morales, said, “It’s a pain that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. ... No amount of money will bring back my baby.”
She then said that even she can't bring herself to accept that her son is no more. "I feel like this is a nightmare that I'm just trying to wake up from because I try to take a nap, I wake up. I look for him. It's so painful," Anna said.
A GoFundMe account has been set by the child's family which described the boy as an "amazing, sweet, and caring boy who truly brightened the lives of his family and those around him every day." A makeshift memorial was set up in front of the church was decorated with flowers, candles, and toys hours after the accident happened.
Cover Image Source: GoFundMe