When a pickup truck rolled off Interstate 5, the driver ran off leaving a child still strapped in his car seat California Highway Patrol officials confirmed.
A black Nissan Titan traveling southbound on I-5 flipped over near Rosecrans Street and Old Town San Diego. The truck landed on its side on an embankment along Jefferson Street.
Upon impact, a child sitting in a car seat was partially ejected from the vehicle. Witnesses told NBC 7 they could see the child hanging out of the window following the crash.
“I started screaming ‘There’s a baby in the car, there’s a baby in the car,’” Veronica Simmons said.
According to CHP officials, the driver took off running immediately following the crash, but then returned to the scene to unbuckle the child from the vehicle.
CHP Officer Juan Escobar said the child fell on his back and hit the concrete curb. Officials said the child fell approximately 10 feet.
Simmons described the moment the baby dropped from the wreckage, “The baby just, it just fell, it just ‘Boom!’ It was the most awful sound you want to hear."
The driver then got scared and took off running, according to CHP.
She and other witnesses were upset and concerned for the child.
“It’s very traumatic,” Melissa Middleton said. “The worst part is the parent took off.”
The 4-year-old child was taken to Rady Children's Hospital with injuries from collision and the fall officials said Monday.
Investigators have not identified the man who ran from the crash but say they may have some idea of his identification based on the truck's registration.
Officials are looking into whether alcohol or drugs were a factor in the collision.
The pickup truck was carrying a personal watercraft at the time of the crash.
Some people at a nearby hotel and liquor store told NBC 7 they ran out to see what happened and saw the overturned truck in the roadway.
CHP crews searched the area near the crash for hours but did not locate the driver.
Escobar asked that anyone with information regarding the child or the crash contact San Diego police or the California Highway Patrol at (619) 220-5492.