A 10-year-old boy died after suffering a head injury when a modified golf cart in which he was riding overturned, authorities said Monday.
The boy, identified by the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner as Mark Martinez of Van Nuys, had been severely injured in the crash and was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in West Hollywood on Sunday afternoon.
The incident occurred on a vacant lot in the gated community of Beverly Park Estates in the Beverly Crest area, according to Detective Craig Herron of the Los Angeles Police Department’s abused child unit, which was investigating.
Two adults were sitting in the front seat and three children were in the back seat, Herron said. The vehicle was backing up when the driver attempted to make a turn, causing it to roll over, Herron said.
All five occupants were trapped underneath, he said, adding that all five had been wearing seat belts.
“Two of the kids and the two adults finally escaped. Unfortunately, they discovered the one kid was trapped underneath it,” Herron said. “He suffered injuries to his head and neck and, unfortunately, died from those injuries.”
Herron called it a “tragic accident,” saying there was no traffic violations or illegal activity suspected. Herron said police were not planning to file criminal charges.
Aerial video on Monday showed a large, black vehicle with no roof at the scene, an undeveloped plot of land on Beverly Park Street in a neighborhood of palatial, multimillion-dollar homes. Tire marks in the dirt appeared to show the patterns of a vehicle having been driven in circles, aerial video showed.
The cause of Martinez’s death had not been determined, coroner’s Assistant Chief Ed Winter said. Martinez died at 3:20 p.m. Sunday, Winter said.
The boy’s Glassell Park school on Monday sent out a note to the campus community, saying the fifth-grader had been “involved in an accident and suffered head injuries resulting in his death.”
The Los Feliz Charter School for the Arts was providing emotional support to students and staff, and school officials had visited fifth-grade classrooms to explain what happened to Martinez.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Mark’s family during this difficult time,” school leaders stated in the email. “Students have created beautiful letters and artwork to honor Mark’s memory and we will continue create a safe space for them to process this together.”