Authorities say neither excessive speed nor alcohol or drug impairment appeared to be factors in a crash Friday morning that killed two young boys near the Yolo County town of Clarksburg.
However, the California Highway Patrol is investigating whether the children, ages 2 and 5, were properly restrained when the 2004 Honda Civic driven by their mother struck a tree along rural Jefferson Boulevard, causing the vehicle to split in half.
The crash occurred at 9:55 a.m. as the boys’ mother, identified only as a 42-year-old Clarksburg woman, was traveling north on Jefferson Boulevard near Central Avenue southwest of Clarksburg when, for reasons that remain unclear, the vehicle veered left across the southbound lane and rotated, causing the right side of the car to crash into a tree.
CHP investigators said the impact tore the Honda in half and ejected both boys from the wreckage. The 2-year-old boy had been in the back seat, while the 5-year-old boy was in the right front passenger seat, officers reported.
Yolo County coroner’s officials said the children’s names likely would not be released until Monday.
The CHP did not release the name of the mother, who was transported by CalStar air ambulance to a Sacramento hospital with moderate injuries, the nature of which were not specified. She was not thrown from the car in the collision.
Officers are still investigating whether child safety seats, which would have been required for both children, were in use at the time of the crash.
“The CHP would like to remind parents, guardians and caretakers that the safest location in the vehicle for children is the rear seat, and that children that are required to be in child safety seats are required to be in the rear seat,” the agency noted in a news release.
Anyone who would like to confirm whether their own child safety seats are properly installed is encouraged to call their local CHP office to schedule an appointment with a certified child safety seat technician. In Yolo County, the number for the Woodland-area office is 530-662-4685.
— Reach Lauren Keene at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-747-8048. Follow her on Twitter at @laurenkeene