4-year-old Matthew Fajarado was pronounced dead after succumbing to injuries suffered in a two-vehicle crash last Monday at the intersection of Tamarack Road and Chaparral Road in Whitewater.
Fajarado was in the middle front seat, next to his pregnant mother who was driving. He was either not wearing a seat belt or wearing it very loosely, according to CHP Officer Darren Meyer.
A driver allegedly blew a stop sign and ended up directly in the path of the pregnant mother’s car.
When the two vehicles collided, Fajarado flew forward and his head hit the dashboard, causing major injuries, Meyer said.
Fajarado was flown to the Loma Linda University Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead days later.
Meyer said that even though the crash happened at low-speeds, Fajarado suffered injuries that would have been preventable if he had been in a child safety seat as required by law.
The CHP is discussing whether to submit charges to the Riverside County district attorney’s office against both the mother and the driver of the other vehicle. The mother could be facing child endangerment charges for not having her son in a child safety seat. The other driver could be charged with manslaughter for being at fault in the crash. The charges are pending approval.
Children under the age of 8 are required by California law to be secured in a car or booster seat unless the child is over 4 feet and 9 inches tall.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family, you can donate here.