A toddler in a stroller was struck and killed by a SUV involved in a two-vehicle crash Sunday near a tamale stand in North Hills.
Family members identified the victim, who was in a stroller on the sidewalk, as 18-month-old Sebastian Chavez. A woman was also injured and hospitalized following the crash at the corner of west Nordhoff Street and Langdon Avenue, near the "Our Lady of Peace" church.
“I feel like this is a nightmare that I just woke up from,” Ana Morales, the 18-month-old boy's mother said.
Witnesses said two vehicles collided and at least one of the vehicles "bounced" onto a sidewalk and into a wall, the Los Angeles Fire Department reported. Firefighters and paramedics were dispatched at 7:35 a.m. to the scene.
The driver of a silver Honda HR-V was making a left turn from Nordhoff Street onto Langdon Avenue when it collided with a car. Police said the grey sedan was possibly a Toyota Camry.
The Honda driver's foot appeared to become stuck on the accelerator during the collision, and it hit the wall, striking a tamale stand on the corner of the intersection and pinning the 18-month-old toddler, a witness said. The boy in a stroller on the sidewalk was pinned between the Honda and a brick planter, police said.
The other car's driver then reversed, allowing the Honda to reverse as well. The car's driver continued east on Nordhoff Street without stopping, police said.
"“I just lost my son over something that could have been prevented," Morales said. "He was very loved. He was always smiling. Always dancing. He loved to dance. Anywhere he went everyone smiled at him. He was very loved by everyone.”
Sebastian was with a woman, believed to be a tamale vendor in the area, who was also injured in the crash. Other nearby vendors and witnesses to the crash say the woman is the boy's grandmother, though authorities did not confirm this.
NBCLA is attempting to confirm whether there are any arrests in the case.
Sebastian's heartbroken mother said he spent five days in the neonatal intensive care unit as a newborn.
"I watched him fight for his life when he was just born," she said. "It's crazy."
The Mayor's Crisis Response Team was requested to assist the family.