LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – A toddler has died after he was thrown from a car on Interstate 64.
A retired nurse was one of the first people on the scene. Investigators believe the SUV carrying five people blew a tire on I-64 in Frankfort.
In Elaine Mattingly's ER nursing career, she had seen a lot, but nothing could have prepared her for what she saw Tuesday night.
"I saw two little legs underneath the car," said Mattingly.
Mattingly and her husband were on their way home from a funeral in eastern Kentucky when they drove up to a horrific crash.
Even before first responders could get there, several men at the scene lifted the car, so Mattingly could get to Jair Guiterrez, 2.
"I knew there really wasn't anything I could do, so I just held him and talked to him," said Mattingly.
Jair's parents were also hurt. Mattingly said it was hard to communicate because no one in the family spoke English.
There were five people in the SUV and investigators believe not one of them was wearing a seatbelt.
"I wish they would have had the baby in the car seat, but they didn't, so you go on from here and you try to get the word out to people, to let them know how important it is and how devastating even a small car accident can be on a child," said Mattingly.
Mattingly said she knew Jair had critical neck and head injuries. "I just held him until the angels came, you know," said Mattingly. "It's about all you can do."
Once emergency crews arrived, the 2-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene.
"There's a part of me that wishes other people could see what I saw, they wouldn't hesitate to go out and buy a car seat," said Mattingly.
The Guiterrez family lives in Louisville and both of Jair's parents work for horse trainer Steve Asmussen. The father, Jose Alberta Guiterrez, remains in the hospital.
It's not clear at this time if they will face any charges
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