A 5-year-old Nellysford boy died at the University of Virginia Medical Center on Monday, a day after he was injured in a single-car wreck in Nelson County.
Jeremiah C. Clark was a passenger in a 1994 Saturn SL that ran off the road on Route 665 while traveling east about 8:25 Sunday night. The crash happened when the driver apparently lost control, the Virginia State Police said.
State police said the incident happened less than a mile east of U.S. 29. The car ran off the left side of the road and struck a tree. The Saturn then overturned into a creek.
The driver, Mercedes P. Toliver-Carrington, 18, of Amherst, was taken to UVa for treatment of injuries not deemed life-threatening. Three other people in the car were transported to UVa, as well. All five of the car's occupants were wearing seat belts.
Alcohol was not a factor in the crash, state police said, but the investigation was continuing Tuesday night and charges were pending.
Lt. Kris Redman of the Lovingston Volunteer Fire Department recalled perilous conditions as emergency crews worked to free the victims despite a slick, snowy embankment into the creek where the car came to rest.
“The car was approximately 15 to 20 feet down an embankment on its driver's side door in the creek,” Redman said.
“My guys that were down in the creek started yelling that they had a child that was unresponsive. I literally stepped on the hill to grab the kid, slid halfway down the hill due to the snow and ice.”
Redman couldn’t climb back up with the child. He passed the boy off to a deputy, and the child was rushed by ambulance to a rendezvous with the Pegasus ground crew, which responded in lieu of a medical helicopter. The aircraft wasn't used because of the weather.
Rescue workers had been able to restore a pulse to the boy, Redman said, and he heard the child was breathing on his own at one point.
But the next day, Redman learned Jeremiah had not pulled through.
“It's always really difficult to deal with when a child's involved,” he said.
But at the scene, Redman said he and other emergency personnel had to remain all-business and help the other passengers, one of whom still was trapped inside the vehicle.
She had to be immobilized and pulled up the hill.