PACHECO, Calif. - PACHECO, Calif. (KTVU) – A mother and her two young children are recovering from injuries that they suffered Thursday morning when they were hit by a car in unincorporated Contra Costa County.
The crash happened in Pacheco hear Pleasant Hill, and the CHP says the sun played a role.
At 7 a.m., a mother and her children were crossing the street at Second Avenue South and Topsail when three of them were hit by the car.
"It's awful," exclaimed neighbor Bill Lee who heard the commotion and rushed out of his home. "Injured kid laying on the ground. One of the EMTs was carrying the kid."
The victims were a 1-year-old boy, a 3-year-old girl and their mother. A five year old girl was not hit. "It was pretty bright. Sun's out and the guy couldn't see. He said it, you know, kind of blinded him. He wasn't going very fast," added Lee.
Investigators confirm this was a case in which the morning sun was at just the right angle that it left the driver unable to see.
"He'd just gotten into his vehicle in the morning, and there was dew on the windshield, and when he came around the corner on to Second Avenue, he became blinded, the sun was directly in his line of vision," said CHP officer Thomas Bennett.
The 3-year old girl was the only seriously injured child. She was airlifted to Children's Hospital Oakland with a head injury, but she is expected to survive. The CHP, which is investigating the accident, says drivers need to be careful when the sun causes problems, as often happens in the morning when parents and children are walking to school this time of year.
"I would highly suggest in that situation if you can't see, the best thing to do is pull over and stop and try to get your windshield cleared, cleaned out until you can see. The safe speed to drive when you can't see is zero miles an hour," said Officer Bennett.
Officers say the driver is cooperating, and as yet, there are no criminal charges.
Anyone who witnessed the collision is asked to call the CHP at (925) 978-3918.