SANTA CRUZ COUNTY, CA (RNN) – A 5-year-old boy sustained major injuries in a rollover car crash, according to the California Highway Patrol, because he wasn't properly secured in a car seat.
The CHP warned parents in a Facebook post to make sure their children are secured in a car or booster seat after a Tuesday morning car crash.
They suspect the 5-year-old victim slipped out of his seat belt, KSBW reports. The seat belt was found still buckled in his mother's mangled truck. No booster seat was in the car.
The crash happened when a distracted driver, said to be the boy's mother, crashed into the center divider, causing her truck to roll over multiple times, the CHP said.
"It was an absolutely awful, traumatic scene," CHP Officer Sam Courtney told KSBW. "As soon as the truck started rolling, he came out of the truck."
The boy suffered major injuries and was airlifted to a trauma center.
The CHP says the boy's mother was distracted by her cell phone, KSBW reports.
"Tragically this child could have been uninjured if he were in the proper seat," wrote the CHP on Facebook. "CHP reminds you to ALWAYS properly secure your children in a car seat or booster… Don't assume a seatbelt will restrain a child who is not at least 4'9"!"
The mother suffered moderate injuries and was also transported to a trauma center, according to KSBW. Investigators say they will look into the possibility of recommending criminal charges against her.