Calls about a rollover crash on Richmond Parkway and Hilltop Drive started pouring in to the Richmond Police Department just after 8 a.m.
The accident left veteran law enforcement and first responders shaken because of the extent of the injuries to the 5-year-old who was ejected from the SUV and later died. After the crash, the burgundy SUV came to rest in the middle of the road near the intersection, its backside dented in, the windshield damaged and windows smashed.
There were six people in the SUV at the time of the crash and only the driver was wearing a seatbelt. To make matters even worse, investigators say the 5-year-old was not in a car seat. Early investigation suggests the SUV rolled at least twice before it came to a stop.
"We have children also, so to be able to deal with seeing a child that gets ejected and be in extremely critical condition is something that's hard. And the fact that none of the occupants beside the driver was seat-belted in is very frustrating," Det. Nicole Abetkov. There were two children under the age of 10 in the vehicle, two teenagers, and two adults.
Investigators say speed was indeed a factor and add that if the 5-year-old had been wearing a seat belt, she may have survived the accident.
As part of the CHP's Child Passenger Safety Program, anyone can contact their local CHP office and get help installing their child car safety seat.