Boy dies in Boulder County crash

Boy was in back of pickup

BOULDER, Colo. - A 7-year-old boy was killed Friday night in a car accident at the intersection of the Diagonal Highway and Mineral Road in Boulder County.

At 9:22 p.m., a 1996 Ford Explorer was traveling southbound on Highway 119, approaching a red light at the intersection of Highway 52.  The Ford traveled through the red light and into the intersection before swerving to avoid crossing traffic on Highway 52.  Although it did not collide with any other vehicles, the Ford rolled onto its left side, according to the Colorado State Patrol.

A 7-year-old boy, identified by relatives as Vincente Nunez, was riding in the Ford's cargo area and was partially ejected during the rollover; he was not wearing a seatbelt and was pronounced dead at Boulder Community Hospital.

The Ford's driver, 41-year-old Manual Nunez-Luna of Longmont, sustained minor injuries as a result of the crash.  His passengers -- 37-year-old Yadira Silva, 19-year-old Mary Cruz-Lopez, and four additional children aged 5 through 15, all from Longmont -- sustained minor injuries as a result of the crash.

The passengers' seatbelt use is under investigation, although at least two of the children, including the fatally injured boy, were not restrained.

"Crashes like these, specifically fatal injuries like this are completely avoidable if people use seat belts.  It isu nacceptable we're still talking about this in 2013,” said CSP Sgt. Mike Baker.

"I think God must took him for something good,” said Vincente’s aunt Conception Luna.   "He's in heaven.  Oh yes I do.  I really believe that," she said.

Alcohol is suspected as a contributing factor in the crash.  Nunez-Luna was arrested briefly and released.  Charges are pending.

The Colorado State Patrol reminds motorists that all children must be restrained properly in car seats, booster seats, or seatbelts -- depending upon their ages -- when riding in a motor vehicle.