HOMESTEAD (CBSMiami) – A five-year old boy was killed and two other people were seriously injured in a three vehicle crash Monday morning in Homestead.
According to police the boy, Jason Santamaria, was in a red Toyota with his mother’s 76-year old aunt, Florencia Tarrau, heading east on Campbell Drive when they were clipped by a pick truck driven by 63 year old Gregoria Saucedo as she tried to make a turn at Kingman Road.
The impact sent the car the boy was in into the westbound lane where it collided head on with an oncoming Kia driven by Nicolas Ramirez.
“It was fairly serious high impact frontal collision,” said Homestead police investigator John Buchanan.
“Everyone had the right of way,” said Homestead police Detective Fernando Morales, “It was just, apparently, a miscalculation.”
Police said Santamaria was not in a car seat at the time of the accident, but rather sitting in the front passenger seat. He was airlifted to Miami Children’s Hospital where he was pronounced dead, according to police.
“No doubt about it, if that child would have been in a safety seat, we would be dealing with a different situation here,” said Morales.
Investigators said in looked like the boy was wearing a seat belt, but it was not enough to save his life.
“The child was a little smaller and the seat belt looks like it rode up onto the neck area,” said Buchanan.
Under Florida law, children three years old and younger must ride in a child safety seat. At ages four and five, children should be in a booster seat if the vehicles seat belt does not fit snugly across their collar bone.
“Child safety seats save lives,” said Buchanan. “Although seat belts save lives too, you have to take into consideration the size and of the child and that’s why we have child safety seats.”
Tarrau and Ramirez were both airlifted to Kendall Regional Medical Center. Tarrau remains in critical condition, Ramirez listed in fair condition.
Saucedo, who police said did not have a driver’s license and only carried a passport from Mexico, was arrested.
Police say Saucedo will be charged with failing to yield during a left hand turn resulting in a fatality and driving with an invalid drivers license.