United States

3-Year-Old Was Behind The Wheels When Tragic Collision Killed A 2-Year-Old At California Gas Station

The collision occurred when the 3-year-old managed to move into the driver's position, resulting in the vehicle striking 2-year-old Ailahni Sanchez Martinez.

Representative image Photo: Pinterest

In a heartbreaking incident, California authorities report that a 3-year-old child was operating a vehicle that tragically struck and killed another toddler in a gas station parking lot over the weekend.

The Woodland Police Department responded to the distressing call around 3:45 p.m. local time at the 300 block of West Street, following reports of a child struck by a vehicle, as detailed in a news release on Facebook.

Upon arrival, officers discovered that a two-year-old child had been hit and was rushed to the hospital by family members, where they succumbed to their injuries, the police department stated.

The young victim was identified by her parents as Ailahni Sanchez Martinez, according to NBC affiliate KCRA.

Investigations revealed that the owner of the truck involved was present at the scene, but he was inside the gas station store at the time of the tragic accident, leaving his vehicle running at a gas pump.

Inside the truck, a 3-year-old child was seated in the back, restrained in a car seat. However, in a heartbreaking turn of events, the child managed to unbuckle and shift to the driver's seat, inadvertently setting the vehicle in motion. The truck collided with the two-year-old child near a taco stand at the edge of the parking lot.

Ailahni's mother, Rosa Martinez, recounted the harrowing moment, describing how they witnessed the truck veering toward their daughter as they set up their taco stand.

"I heard a scream and ran because I saw it going toward my daughter, but it was too late," Sanchez lamented.

As of now, no arrests have been made, and authorities confirm that all parties involved have been cooperative during the investigation. However, the grieving family is seeking justice for their loss.

“We want justice,” expressed Sanchez to KCRA.

Following completion, the police department plans to forward the investigation to the district attorney’s office for further review.

In response to the devastating tragedy, a GoFundMe campaign has been launched for the family, raising over $17,000 as of Tuesday morning. The tribute highlighted Ailahni as a "beautiful [and] talented 2 almost 3 year old," whose premature departure has left an indelible void.