A 7-year-old boy died after sliding under a moving vehicle while sledding near Idyllwild, officials said.
The child’s family was visiting friends, and he was sledding on Sylvan Way in Pine Cove when he traveled from the driveway and into the roadway just before 3 p.m., according to California Highway Patrol.
A Ford Transit 350 was headed east on Sylvan Way just as the boy got on the road, and he ended up sliding under the van, officials said.
The driver, a 35-year-old man from Desert Hot Springs, stopped the van and helped get the child to a fire station to be air-lifted to a hospital.
But the boy sustained major injuries and died before he was transported.
Witnesses said the Ford was traveling at a low rate of speed when the boy was hit, according to CHP.
The collision remains under investigation, but officials said alcohol and drugs have been ruled out as contributing factors.
“The California Highway Patrol recognizes that this is an absolute tragedy and one that could have been prevented,” the agency said in a news release.
“We would like to remind anyone visiting our mountain communities to never sled on active roadways and to always be aware of your surroundings,” CHP officials said. “Always keep a keen eye on your children and never get complacent when it comes to traffic safety.”