A four-year-old boy has been killed in a road rage incident involving his father and a second driver.
The boy died after his father, Joe Chanthavong, 26, from California, crashed his car when a second driver in a black Chevy pickup truck tried to force him off the road.
The truck followed him after he made an abrupt exit from Interstate 5 and cut in front of him in Sacramento on Saturday afternoon.
California Highway Patrol Officer Lizz Dutton says that when Chanthavong lost control of his car – a blue 1999 Honda Accord, it went down an embankment.
The boy, who was not properly secured in a child restraint seat, was thrown from the car and killed.
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Victim: Ryan Jayden Chanthavong, four, was not properly strapped into this car seat and was thrown from the vehicle on impact and killed
Driver: Joe Chanthavong, 26, right, was driving with his wife and son, pictured, when a black Chevy Avalanche pulled up next to him and tried forcing his car off the road
Chanthavong and the child’s mother, 23-year-old Melinda Phouglonghong, who was also in the car, suffered minor injuries.
Ms Phouglonghong said she never checked to make sure her son was wearing a seat belt.
‘He buckled himself in. I taught him how to buckle himself in. They asked me if I checked. I didn’t double check,’ she said.
Road rage: Officer Dutton said both cars were making unsafe lane changes, following too closely to each other and speeding
Destroyed: The Blue Honda was forced off the road and crashed into a fence causing the boy to be thrown from the car
The driver of the second car – a black Chevy pickup truck – drove away.
Officer Dutton said both cars were making unsafe lane changes, following too closely to each other and speeding
Mother: Melinda Phouglonghong, 23, said she never checked to make sure her son had fasted the seat belt properly
The CHP says Chanthavong did not have a driver’s license and has a lengthy criminal past including felony assault and drug possession.
He was taken to UC Davis Medical Center with minor cuts and abrasions and a contusion to his head.
A toxicology report and possible charges are pending.